Vaccinations against COVID-19. How many infections were recorded after the third dose? New data from Israel

The latest data from Israel on infections and hospitalizations among people who have received a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are optimistic. They show that SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred in only 0.26 percent. vaccinated booster. – These are the effects we expected. For this purpose, a booster dose is administered to strengthen the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 with time, comments Dr. Bartosz Fiałek, rheumatologist and popularizer of medical knowledge.

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1. Israel. Infections among those vaccinated with the third dose

The Israeli Ministry of Health has released data showing that 10,600 people who took the third dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been infected with the coronavirus. By November 12, over 4 million people had received the third dose of the vaccine there. As a percentage, it is only 0.26 percent.

Prof. Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunology laboratory at Bar-Ilan University, emphasizes that vaccines are primarily intended to protect against the symptomatic or severe course of the disease, hospitalization and death. Data from Israel show that the effectiveness in this regard is also very high.

According to the Israeli MZ, among 200 people currently staying in hospitals 80 percent of the unvaccinated., while fully vaccinated (three doses) is 12 percent, or 23 people. No survivors who took the booster died.

– These are the effects we expected. This is why a booster is given to strengthen the weakening immune response against COVID-19 over time. Because the so-called a booster is – by definition – not so much a reminder as a boost. And we can see that by giving a booster, we strengthen this immune response and reduce the risk of various types of phenomena related to the virus and disease – comments Dr. Bartosz Fiałek, rheumatologist and popularizer of medical knowledge.

The doctor adds that the benefits of taking the third dose are many.

– Thanks to the booster dose, we not only reduce the number of severe disease courses and deaths, but also reduce the transmission of the new coronavirus, which means we have fewer cases of COVID-19. When given about 6 months after the end of the primary vaccination course, the booster causes all rates of vaccine effectiveness (after its decline over time) to increase again. Sometimes they are even higher than we noted after receiving two basic doses – says Dr. Fiałek.

Vaccinations against COVID-19.  How many infections were recorded after the third dose?  New data from Israel

Vaccinations against COVID-19. How many infections were recorded after the third dose? New data from Israel (Getty Images)

2. Who is at risk of infection and severe disease despite the third dose?

Although the risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus after taking the booster is very small, it is impossible to ignore those people who, despite taking a booster dose, still get sick.

– The highest risk of COVID-19 in vaccinated patients is in the group of immunocompetent patients, i.e. patients with a malfunctioning immune system. This means that the so-called breakthrough infections occur in people with a poorer immune system, including the elderly or those with specific comorbidities. For example, in people after organ transplantation, the immune response after two doses is inadequate or weakens after 28 days, hence the recommendation that these patients should take the third dose about a month after the end of the basic cycle – explains the expert.

People in the severe COVID-19 group are also most at risk.

– This means that people who belong to three groups can fall ill and even die despite receiving the next dose of the COVID-19 vaccine: the elderly, people with multiple diseases (especially those who have comorbidities, which are factors in their own right). the risk of severe COVID-19, such as: heart diseases, diabetes, obesity or hypertension) and immunocompetent people. These are groups of patients who at the very beginning have a very high risk of a severe course of COVID-19.

– Vaccines obviously reduce the risk of serious complications of the disease, but despite taking the next dose, it is moderately high or high in these groups. So there is a huge probability, almost certainly bordering on certainty, that without a booster dose or an additional COVID-19 vaccine people at risk will develop a severe course of the disease or even die. In the event of vaccination, people from these groups give themselves hope and a chance to avoid serious COVID-19-related events, explains Dr. Fiałek.

3. The third dose of the vaccine in Poland

In Poland, the third dose can be taken from November 2 this year. The European Medicines Agency recommended a third dose six months after full vaccination. At national level, official recommendations on the timing of booster doses may vary.

According to prof. Magdalena Marczyńska from the Medical Council, in Poland, a message is to be issued next week that will allow the administration of the third dose of the vaccine earlier than six months after the primary vaccination.

– Most likely, it will be possible to shorten this period to five months. This change is expected to happen at any moment – she said.

However, there is a group that can take the third dose after 28 days. It includes people who have undergone organ transplantation. A study by the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN) in 50 medical centers of the country found that as much as 20 percent kidney transplant patients have been unable to develop antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to prof. Wiesław Jędrzejczak, a hematologist, these are people with such significant immunodeficiencies that in their case the administration of the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will still not result in immunity.

– Currently in Poland, most of these patients are vaccinated with the third dose, but for some of them it may be far insufficient. They should have access to the next free doses of the vaccine – says the expert in an interview with PAP.

Prof. Jędrzejczak emphasizes that patients with some lymphomas who do not require treatment yet, but already have impaired immunity, still do not have access to early vaccination with the third dose. Many of them have insufficient response to vaccination by testing for antibodies and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

– Depending on the situation, patients should be allowed to vaccinate with the third dose, and revaccinate them with two or even three doses – concludes the hematologist.

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About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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