A: Yes. PLEASE, PLEASE go get your 3rd dose (that means YOU America!).
Official COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. reached another numbing milestone this week—900,000 souls. And we are still tallying more than 2500 new COVID deaths PER DAY.
While much of Europe has also seen skyrocketing Omicron cases, hospitalizations and deaths per case have been much lower than the U.S. Why? One reason is that the U.S lags behind most European countries in the percentage of the population with 2 doses of COVID vaccine, and REALLY lags behind with 3rd doses (see figures).
Even before Omicron came crashing through our door, new data pointed to COVID vaccines working better as a 3 dose rather than 2 dose primary series. A recap here.
….and then came Omicron. Omicron is better able to evade prior immunity from either vaccination or previous infection. Protection against infection and hospitalization are dramatically reduced with only two doses for Omicron compared to Delta. A 3rd dose of the vaccine, however, restores much of this lost protection. (Read more here and here.)
So far in the U.S, only *42%* of those with 2 doses have gotten their recommended 3rd dose. By definition, this group aren’t entrenched anti-vaxxers, so the low rates of boosting are more of a puzzle. While some may be less than 5 months past their 2nd shot and thus not yet eligible, this isn’t a large percentage.
We know there were a lot of mixed messages about the necessity of 3rd doses starting back in the summer. But since then, data have accumulated supporting the idea that a 3rd dose is necessary rather than optional.
If you haven’t gotten around to that 3rd dose of vaccine just yet, you are technically not “up to date” on your COVID vaccine, and you are more vulnerable to than you were pre-Omicron.
NOW is the time to get that 3rd dose…and bring a friend!
Those Nerdy Girls
P.S. Don’t give up on being an advocate for 1st and 2nd doses, where the US also lags behind!