Air pollutants — in particular fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) — are particularly harmful to those with COVID-19, according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC study done in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente. Even among people who have been vaccinated, exposure to those two pollutants over the short or long term increase the risk of hospitalization by up to 30%.

While vaccination generally lowers the risk of serious illness, this new statistic presents additional proof of how harmful low air quality is to people living and working in affected areas. The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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