Vaccine boosters provide robust protection against severe disease from the omicron variant in the United States, according to three reports released Friday that offer the first real-world data in this country showing the utility of the additional shots in keeping vaccinated people out of the hospital.

But the reports by scientists the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are arriving late to the winter surge in coronavirus cases that have choked the corridors of hospitals across much of the country.

When omicron was first identified in late November and began spreading rapidly in the United States, millions of vaccinated people lined up for the extra shots. But that has slowed. To date, 39% of fully vaccinated people have gotten the additional doses, according to the CDC.

Surveys by private polling firms suggest the uptake could be somewhat higher, and the CDC has acknowledged that its data may be an underestimate. Still, despite laboratory studies that show an extra dose jacks up antibodies, repeated urgings from Biden administration officials and more recently, a succession of reports from multiple countries affirming that protection, the boosters have not been embraced by Americans to the extent the initial shots were.... Read More: Washington Post