Does the Fourth Dose of Vaccine Protect Against Omicron?
Does the fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine protect against Omicron? Israel Sheba hospital announced the results.
The study by the Sheba hospital in Israel showed that the fourth dose of the vaccine did not sufficiently immunize against the Omicron variant of the corona virus. The scientists said that the second booster vaccine increased antibodies, but this was not enough to prevent the transmission of Omicron. However, it was stated that this protection is still of great importance for the elderly and those who are vulnerable to Covid-19.
Initial results from Israel showed that the fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine offered only limited protection against the worldwide common Omicron variant.
Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv administered the fourth dose of the vaccine to more than 270 healthcare workers last month. Of these, 154 received the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine and 120 received the Moderna. All had previously been vaccinated three times with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.
The clinical trial found that both groups showed “slightly higher” increases in antibodies than the third vaccine last year. However, the increased antibodies failed to prevent transmission of Omicron.
4. Dose of Vaccine Provides Partial Protection Against Omicron
Director of the hospital’s infectious diseases unit, Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay said: “Despite increased antibody levels, the fourth vaccine offers only partial defense against Omicron. “Vaccines that are more effective against previous variants offer less protection against Omicron.”
However, the results of the study raised questions about the decision to administer a fourth booster dose overall to Israel’s population over 60 years of age. The government announced that more than 500,000 people had received the second booster vaccine in recent weeks.
Director of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Dr. Nahman Ash, stating that the research did not show that the fourth vaccination was a mistake, said, “It returns the level of antibodies to the level at the beginning of the third vaccination. This is of great importance, especially among the elderly population,” he said.
But officials said the research would be considered when discussing whether to expand the fourth-dose vaccination campaign to the wider population.