In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found among Israeli adults aged 60 years and older, those receiving a third booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have much lower risks of COVID-19 and severe illness than people who only receiving the two original vaccine doses.
The study is from the Weizmann Institute of Science. One author is Yinon M. Bar‑On.
The team compared the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the rate of severe illness (July 30 through Aug. 31, 2021) between those who had received a booster injection at least 12 days earlier (booster group) and those who had not received a booster injection (nonbooster group).
The analysis included 1,137,804 people ages 60 years and older who had been fully vaccinated at least five months earlier.
The team found that ≥12 days after the booster dose, the rate of confirmed infection was lower in the booster group than in the nonbooster group by a factor of 11.3.
Similarly, the rate of severe illness was lower by a factor of 19.5. Compared with the rate of infection four to six days after the booster, the rate of confirmed infection ≥12 days after vaccination was lower by a factor of 5.4.
These findings give clear indications of the effectiveness of a booster dose even against the currently dominant delta variant.
The team says future studies will help determine the long-term effectiveness of the booster dose against current and emerging variants.
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