Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at reducing the risk of severe infection, symptomatic illness, hospitalization, and death. On average, the original Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines were effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness by more than 85%. 

A vaccine can only protect against a strain that it recognizes. As the virus continues to circulate and mutate over time, new variants are less recognizable to our immune systems. This leads to new infections — even for people who are vaccinated. As a result, updated vaccines have been developed to more closely target the currently circulating variants of concern and offer increased protection. 

The updated Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Novavax vaccines that were approved in fall 2023 are critical to collective immunity. According to the latest research data, the newly updated COVID-19 vaccines are effective at producing strong immune responses to new variants, especially those originating from the Omicron variant. Individuals who received the updated COVID-19 vaccines have shown antibody responses that were almost 10 to 17 times higher against new variants than before they received the updated vaccine.

Added December 14, 2023