DETROIT – The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a briefing to update Americans on the effectiveness of the booster shot against the omicron variant and the free COVID test that is being administered by mail.
The CDC director says it’s clear that boosters do have a big benefit.
“During Dec., when omicron was first emerging, unvaccinated adults had a five times higher risk of infection when compared to adults who had received a booster shot,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
The CDC released three large new studies that show boosters increasing protection against omicron.
“As you can see, case rates are highest among those who are unvaccinated, represented by the black line on the top graph (in the video player above),” Walensky said. “Case rates are lower for those who have received their primary series represented by the light blue dotted line and lower still for those who have received their booster dose represented by the solid blue line at the bottom of the graph.”
While cases appear to have peaked in some places hit first by the latest surge, Dr. Walensky warned that omicron isn’t over yet.
“We still are at extraordinarily high levels of disease, in almost all of the places, even in places where cases are starting to come down,” Walensky said.
Meanwhile, the team says millions of Americans have already placed their orders for free at-home COVID tests.
“Tests starting shipping yesterday,” said White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients. “We’re hearing stories of some already arriving today. The postal service is moving incredibly fast here. They are packing and shipping tests immediately as they arrive. Tens of millions of tests have arrived so far. it’s an all-hands-on-deck effort.”