Two vaccines and a booster remain the best way to ensure staying out of the hospital if you catch COVID-19, including the new omicron variant, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Thursday on Newsmax.
A Johns Hopkins University study showed that people who have had COVID-19 still maintain antibodies in their system two years later, while those who received vaccines saw their antibodies weakening after six months.
"I understand the theory," Jha said on "Eric Bolling: The Balance," when asked whether it might not make sense for people to catch omicron on purpose since it is weaker than previous variants.
But, he added, "I just finished off a two-week service in the hospital [and] saw a lot of people who were very, very sick with omicron. I understand that it is less deadly than delta, but it's still pretty serious for a lot of folks, and everybody I saw in the hospital who was really sick was either unvaccinated or had not gotten a booster and was kind of elderly and chronically ill."
The best way to avoid serious infection, he said, is getting vaccinated and boosted, whether that be young, healthy people or older people.
"This is not like going to the measles parties," Jha told Bolling. "You gotta protect yourself. ... I mean, there's an upside of getting some immunity, but you can get that immunity through vaccines without all the dangers of being infected."
As for the Johns Hopkins study, Jha said that the biggest thing is not how many antibodies remain after a certain amount of time, but whether a person gets reinfected and their likelihood of ending up in the hospital.
"The data on this is overwhelmingly clear," he said. "And you know who said this? President Trump said this about two weeks ago: If you want to stay out of the hospital, you want to stay out of the morgue, the best way to do that is vaccinations. President Trump was right about that."
The data shows a booster reduces the chances of ending up in the hospital by a dramatic amount, Jha said.
"If you're not boosted and you're high risk ... if you get infected, you can end up in the hospital," he added. "But no doubt, also that if you really want to protect yourself, boosters are the way to go."
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