The new COVID-19 vaccines provide a boost to protection against hospitalization, although that shielding wanes within months, according to unpublished data presented on Feb. 24.
A bivalent Pfizer or Moderna booster increased protection against hospitalization initially by 52 percent, but that protection dropped to 36 percent beyond 59 days, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers said.
The researchers separately looked at the protection of people who had received two or more monovalent doses, or doses of the original vaccines, and no bivalent booster. They found that people ages 18 to 64 had just 19 percent protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization and that those 65 and older had just 28 percent protection.
That means the protection after two months was about 60 percent in total for the elderly and goes below 50 percent for all other adults.
The data came (read below) from the CDC’s VISION network.
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Data from a different CDC-run network, called IVY, showed “minimal to no residual protection” against hospitalization from the original vaccine, Dr. Amadea Britton, a CDC official, said.
Two or more monovalent doses provided just 17 percent protection, with uncertain confidence intervals.
A bivalent vaccine on top of a monovalent primary series brought the protection to just 55 percent at seven or more days after the booster.
Waning wasn’t measured in the IVY network.
The bivalent vaccines were authorized and recommended in the fall of 2022 although no clinical trial data was available. Clinical efficacy data remain unavailable at present.
While the COVID-19 vaccines are authorized in the United States to prevent COVID-19 disease, officials have increasingly described the goal of vaccination as preventing severe disease. The vaccines have performed worse and worse against symptomatic infection as newer variants have emerged.
The effectiveness against severe disease may be higher than against hospitalization, according to Britton.
A committee called the Select Subcommittee has been charged by Congress with thoroughly investigating the COVID-19 pandemic, including the development of vaccines and the subsequent policies and mandates.
If you’re curious to delve deeper into the topic, read more about it here.
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