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December 16, 2022 1:50 PM EST

The updated COVID-19 booster shots give adults ages 65 and older the greatest level of protection against hospitalization, according to new U.S. government data.

Bivalent boosters were 73% effective at preventing hospitalizations due to COVID in this group of older adults compared with people of the same age who got two or more doses of the original formulation of the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The reduced risk of hospitalization was smaller in younger adults, the agency said.

The findings add to research that shows the new booster shots have at least some benefit, although the magnitude seems to vary by a person’s age and how long they wait between doses.

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