Reinfection risk after second booster shot stands at 48% within days, new peer-reviewed study finds

    Research published in The NEJM on Wednesday night found that individuals 60 and older who received a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine were considerably less likely to become infected and develop serious illness.

    Patients who received the second booster shot two weeks to one month later were 52 percent less likely to become infected than those who had the third dose at least four months earlier.

    Patients were also 61 percent less likely to develop symptoms of infection, 72 percent less likely to be admitted to the hospital, 64 percent less likely to develop serious disease, and 76 percent less likely to die than those who had only taken the third dose at least four months before.

    This is the first study to assess the fourth dose’s efficacy in preventing all types of coronavirus disease.

    The investigation looked at data from 182,122 people aged 60 and up who had received the fourth dose. The study also looked at data from a control group of 182,122 patients of the same age who had only had the third dose at least four months before getting the fourth dose.

    The PCR testing rates in both groups were comparable.

    Dr. Uri Magen, Dr. Jacob Waxman, and Dr. Maya Makov Assif, all of whom specialize in public health in Clalit’s innovation framework, led the study. The study looked at data from January 3, 2022, to February 18, 2022, when Israel’s Omicron variant was prevalent.

    “The results from the fourth vaccination campaign for those aged 60 and over clearly demonstrate,” according to Prof. Ran Balicer, “that the fourth vaccine dose significantly protects against coronavirus disease complications – including a fourfold reduction in the risk of mortality compared to those who received a third dose over 4 months ago.”

    Balicer further added: “In our estimation, the results of the study will lead the elderly population and those at risk of disease complications to choose to be vaccinated with the fourth dose, in any country in the world where the virus continues to spread in the community.”

    Another study published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed academic journal The New England Journal of Medicine indicated that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccination gives three times the effective protection against serious illness for persons aged 60 and up.

    According to research published in March by Sheba Medical Center, the fourth dose of the vaccine provided little extra protection against infection among young and healthy people compared to the first three doses, while it did provide moderate protection against symptomatic infection.

    According to a Clalit study published in March, the fourth dose resulted in a 78 percent reduction in COVID-19-related fatalities in persons aged 60 to 100.

    Image Credit: Getty

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