At the end of March, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second COVID-19 booster dose for people 50 years of age and older. But the data supporting the extra shot is limited. Here, we break down the available evidence and share what scientists recommend.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed a recent study that found that on the rare occasion when fully vaccinated people died from COVID-19, they often had multiple risk factors for severe disease. But her reference to vaccinated people was cut in a version of the interview — and conservative figures misleadingly claimed she was talking about all COVID-19 deaths.
Social media posts are misinterpreting the results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which found 74% of people in a COVID-19 outbreak were vaccinated, to argue against immunization. But experts say the statistic is misleading without more context — and doesn’t mean that the vaccines don’t work.
In a May 16 interview, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said the agency knew of 223 breakthrough fatalities among fully vaccinated individuals, but “not all … died of COVID.” That is not an admission that “many, many hospitals” previously “overcounted” COVID-19 deaths, as conservative websites have reported.