TRENTON — Those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 continue to make up a large majority of hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus statewide, according to the latest COVID breakthrough data.

Out of 600 COVID-19 deaths over the last month of 2021, only four were among people with break-through cases, according to state officials on Wednesday.

During that time span, 161 people who had been boosted were hospitalized with COVID infections — a rate of 63 times less than those who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

"The rates of infection and hospitalization for those with boosters is more than three times lower than for those who have only a primary vaccination," Gov. Phil Murphy said on Twitter.

The rampant spread of the omicron variant has led to some muddled public perception of the effectiveness of vaccines.

Between Dec. 6 and Jan. 2, there were 363,482 COVID cases, including 11,074 among hospitalized patients and 600 deaths due to COVID.

But only two deaths came from the 3.9 million people who only had a primary vaccine shot and another two deaths came from among the 2.3 million people who had a booster.

During this period, people with just a single vaccine accounted for 113,775 breakthrough cases and 883 hospitalizations while those with boosters accounted for 19,360 breakthrough cases and just 161 hospitalizations.

"Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Jan. 5, nearly 47% of potentially eligible New Jersey residents had received COVID vaccine booster doses.

Pfizer boosters are available five months after completion of the primary two-dose series; Moderna six months after completion of the primary two-dose series; and Johnson & Johnson two months after completing the single-dose series, according to state and federal health officials.

Omicron impact on COVID cases in NJ

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its third calendar year in New Jersey, some things have stayed true (hand-washing, advice to vaccinate) while others have evolved along with the latest variant (less monoclonal antibody treatments, new at-home anti-viral pills).

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