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Colorado officials say data shows COVID-19 boosters effective, wastewater testing finds omicron variant

Posted at 3:57 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 19:43:43-05

DENVER — Colorado officials announced Tuesday new data shows COVID-19 booster shots are effective.

During a briefing on the state of COVID-19 in Colorado, State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy revealed people who receive booster shots are 2.4 times less likely to be a COVID-19 case compared to vaccinated people and 9.7 times less likely compared to unvaccinated people.

When it comes to hospitalizations, those who have received a booster are 3.3 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to vaccinated people. Boosted people are also 47.5 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to those who are unvaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 1,419 Coloradans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Governor Jared Polis. Sixteen percent of those hospitalized are vaccinated.

Seventeen children ages zero to four are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Eight children ages five to 17 are in the hospital due to the virus. According to Gov. Polis, the eight five- to 17-year-olds are all unvaccinated.

Dr. Herlihy also announced Tuesday that wastewater surveillance has detected signature mutations of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Boulder's municipal wastewater system.

"We're unable to quantify how many cases that detection in the Boulder municipal wastewater system represents, but we believe it's likely more than one case, probably some low level of community transmission," she said.

Two cases of the omicron variant have been detected in the state so far. Both were discovered last week and involved international travel.

Much is still unknown regarding the omicron variant, including its spectrum of illness and severity. Experts expect to learn more in the coming weeks after more data is collected.

Gov. Polis said the delta variant continues to be the primary threat in Colorado.

"Right now, my fellow Coloradans should know it is the delta variant that is the primary threat to our health, to our welfare," he said.

Both Gov. Polis and Dr. Herlihy encouraged Coloradans to get vaccinated if they are not already. Vaccinated residents are also encouraged to get a booster shot.

To find your nearest vaccination site, click here.