Early efficacy assessed for fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine – Consumer Health News

THURSDAY, April 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A fourth dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is effective in reducing the risk of short-term COVID-19-related outcomes, according to a study published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ori Magen, MD, of the Clalit Research Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, and colleagues used data recorded by the largest healthcare organization in Israel from January 3 to February 18, 2022, to examine the effectiveness of a fourth dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 related outcomes. The primary analysis included 182,122 pairs aged 60 years or older, who had and had not received a fourth dose, individually matched for multiple sociodemographic and clinical variables.

The researchers found that during days 7 to 30 after the fourth dose, the relative efficacy of the vaccine was estimated to be 45, 55, 68, 62 and 74% against infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, symptomatic COVID-19, COVID-19 hospitalization, severe COVID-19, and COVID-19 death, respectively. The corresponding estimates were 52, 61, 72, 64 and 76% during days 14-30 after the fourth dose. For COVID-19-related hospitalizations and for severe COVID-19 cases, the absolute risk difference (three versus four doses) during days 7-30 after a fourth dose of vaccine was 180.1 and 68.8 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.

“It is now up to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine who benefits most from booster doses,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

Several study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including Pfizer.

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Sara H. Byrd