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Updated Covid Boosters Cut the Infection Risk From XBB.1.5 Subvariant by Nearly Half, CDC Finds

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The updated Covid boosters reduce the risk of Covid infection from the predominant omicron subvariant by nearly half, according to early data published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In adults up to age 49, the latest boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were 48% effective against symptomatic infection from the XBB.1.5 subvariant, the new report said. As of Jan. 21, that subvariant accounted for about 1 in 2 new cases in the United States.

Protection was lower in older groups: The boosters were 40% effective in adults ages 50 to 64 and 43% effective in people 65 and older.

The findings are “quite reassuring,” Dr. Brendan Jackson, the head of the CDC’s Covid response, said on a call with reporters Wednesday. “These updated vaccines are protecting people against the latest Covid-19 variants.”

For more on this story, go to NBC News.

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