The year 2020 was a dark one, as the onset of the coronavirus pandemic claimed hundreds of thousands of lives with few remedies in sight. But 2021 brought hope with the release of three FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Later, there was even more good news as booster shots became available. Scientific trials and data models showed that these boosters could be administered about six months after the initial vaccination, and they provided even more protection against severe illness, hospitalization and even death from COVID. And even though vaccinated people still may get COVID, their cases are much more manageable, health experts say. Data shows that the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since the vaccines and boosters became available have been in people who have not been vaccinated.