Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Exposure to air pollution worsens COVID-19 outcomes, even among the fully vaccinated


 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Kaiser Permanente Southern California conducted the first individual-level study of air pollution exposure and COVID-19 vaccination.
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Keck School of Medicine of USC


 By comparing publicly available air quality monitoring data with deidentified patient medical records, they first established that regardless of air pollution exposure, vaccines go a long way in reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“Fully vaccinated people had almost 90% reduced risk of COVID hospitalization, and even partially vaccinated people had about 50% less risk,” said Zhanghua Chen, PhD, assistant professor of population and public health sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and co-first author of the study.

But air pollutants—in particular fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—are still harmful. Even among people who were vaccinated, exposure to those two pollutants over the short or long term increased the risk of hospitalization up to 30%.

“Among vaccinated people, the detrimental effect of air pollution exposure is a little smaller, compared to people who were not vaccinated,” Chen said. “But that difference is not statistically significant.”


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