According to preliminary results from studies in the UK, a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can provide up to 88% protection against hospitalizations due to infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Results compiled in a report by the British Health Safety Agency (UKSHA) show significantly higher protection provided by the third dose of vaccine against the highly mutated variant first identified in Botswana and South Africa in November, compared to two doses.
Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in the United States, noted that the vaccine’s efficacy drops to 52% against Omicron about six months after taking the second injection of a COVID-19 vaccine.
However, a booster dose dramatically increases immunity and reduces the chances of being hospitalized with COVID-19 infection.
“This is a big boost for the protection of the 3rd dose of the vaccine compared to hospitalization for Omicron infection. The efficacy of the vaccine increased by 52% (due to the decrease in 2 doses after 6 months) to 88% after the 3rd dose, ”Topol tweeted on Sunday.
“It is quite impressive that the vaccines directed against the ancestral strain peak of 2 years ago, with the virus that has evolved through more than 290 million confirmed cases, and now to the hyper-mutated Omicron, have retained nearly 90 percent effectiveness against serious illness with a 3rd stroke, “he said in another tweet.
The UKHSA report cited two studies that examined the association between the variant and vaccine status and the risk of hospitalization.
The first study is based on around half a million Omicron cases and includes all age groups, while the second uses a smaller data set and is limited to people aged 18 and over.
The first study confirms the previous finding of a reduction in the overall risk of hospitalization for Omicron compared to the Delta variant.
Both studies found a substantial reduction in the risk of hospitalization for Omicron cases after three doses of the vaccine compared to those who were not vaccinated.
Despite the estimated reduction in the risk of hospitalization and the preservation of vaccine efficacy against hospitalization, the study authors noted that there may still be a large number of hospital admissions.
The risk of emergency services hospital admission with Omicron was about one-third that of Delta.
The report shows that vaccine efficacy against symptomatic disease continues to be lower for Omicron than for Delta, with a decline of 10 weeks after dose 3.
After three doses of the vaccine, the risk of hospitalization for a symptomatic case identified with Omicron through community testing was estimated at 68% compared to similar individuals with the variant who were not vaccinated.
“Combined with the protection against becoming a symptomatic case, this gives an inpatient vaccine efficacy of 88 percent (78 to 93 percent) for Omicron after three doses of the vaccine,” the report adds. UKHSA.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)