A preliminary study shows that a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine provides limited protection against the Omicron variant, which is rampant around the world, according to a preliminary study by an Israeli hospital on Monday.
Sheba Hospital began receiving a fourth vaccine last month to more than 270 healthcare workers. Pfizer-154 people vaccinated with BioNtech vaccine and 120 people vaccinated with Moderna. All had previously been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine three times.
Clinical trials found that both groups showed a “slightly higher” increase in antibodies than after the third vaccination last year. However, he said the increase in antibody did not prevent the spread of Omicron.
“Despite elevated antibody levels, the fourth vaccine provides only partial protection against the virus,” said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the hospital’s infectious disease unit. “Vaccines that were more effective against previous variants have less protection than Omicron.”
Preliminary results raised questions about Israel’s decision to offer a second amplifier It shot at a population of over 60 and became the fourth overall. The government says more than 500,000 people have received a second booster in the last few weeks.
Dr. Nerman Ash, director of the Israeli Ministry of Health, said the study did not mean a fourth study. vaccination The effort was a mistake. “It returns antibody levels to the starting levels of the third booster, which is very important, especially among the elderly,” he told Channel 13 TV.
But he said the study would be considered when the authorities discuss whether to extend additional booster campaigns to a wider population.
Israel was one of the first countries to be widely vaccinated last year and last summer was the first country to offer booster shots. The latest booster campaign for older Israelis is also believed to be the first in the world.
Israel’s active vaccination efforts Omicron Occurred in the last few weeks. This variant has caused record levels of infection and has sent more and more people to hospitals, but the number of serious illnesses is below the previous wave.
It also drives a large number of Israelis into quarantine, burdening schools and businesses.
Omicron is already predominant in many countries and can also infect those who have been vaccinated or who have been infected with previous versions of the virus.However, early studies have shown that it is unlikely to cause it. Severe illness From the previous delta variant. Vaccination and booster immunization provide strong protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death.
The Israeli government announced on Tuesday that it would reduce the forced quarantine period from 7 days to 5 days in order to keep the economy running.
“This decision allows us to continue to provide protection. public health Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, on the one hand, is difficult, but at this time he will be able to maintain the economy and safely overcome this wave. ”
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