New data on the effectiveness of the third vaccination

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Covid-19 vaccine partially prevents SARS-CoV-2 infections, but is particularly effective in preventing severe illness during the pandemic. A new Israeli study now demonstrates the large effect on SARS-CoV-2 infections after a third partial vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Incidence decreases by 86 percent.

For symptomatic Covid-19 infections, the mRNA vaccine was 95 percent effective, according to the large efficacy trial that led to approval by the FDA (U.S.) and EMA (EU) drug regulators. However, according to Tal Patalon (Maccabi Healthcare Services Tel Aviv) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Previously conducted studies have demonstrated that the protective effect of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 diminishes over time.”

Protection increases with third dose
The answer to this is the third partial vaccination, which is already being widely propagated in Austria. In Israel, meanwhile, it has been possible for some time to study the effects with respect to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine primarily used there. The Maccabi health insurance company, which has around 2.5 million patients, analyzed data mainly from the period between August 1 and October 4.

Data were examined after 500,232 PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 in 227,380 people who had received two partial vaccinations and in 272,852 people with third vaccinations. Among people with two-part vaccination, 14,989 SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred (6.6 percent). In the group of people with third-time vaccination, this was the case in only 4,941 affected individuals (1.8 percent).

“Comparing those people who had received a ‘booster’ with those with two partial vaccinations, the incidence (of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test; note) was reduced to a factor of 0.14 (minus 86 percent; note) for the period from 28 to 65 days after the third vaccination,” the experts wrote.

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