COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccines Have Very Limited Protection Against Omicron

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to protect against infection by Omicron. A third dose provides some protection but 37% is well below the 50% threshold required for FDA approval.

nytimes

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Two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to protect against infection by Omicron. A third dose provides some protection in the immediate term, but substantially less than against Delta.

ABSTRACT

Background The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including among those who have received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, has increased substantially since Omicron was first identified in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Conclusions

37% is well below the 50% threshold required for FDA approval.

This preprint on boosters with Omicron found: “Receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines was not protective against Omicron. Vaccine effectiveness against Omicron was 37% (95%CI, 19-50%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose.”

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to protect against infection by Omicron. A third dose provides some protection in the immediate term, but substantially less than against Delta. Our results may be confounded by behaviours that we were unable to account for in our analyses. Further research is needed to examine protection against severe outcomes.

Methods

Applying the test-negative design to linked provincial data, we estimated vaccine effectiveness against infection (irrespective of symptoms or severity) caused by Omicron or Delta between November 22 and December 19, 2021. We included individuals who had received at least 2 COVID-19 vaccine doses (with at least 1 mRNA vaccine dose for the primary series) and used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the effectiveness of two or three doses by time since the latest dose.

Results

We included 3,442 Omicron-positive cases, 9,201 Delta-positive cases, and 471,545 test-negative controls. After 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine effectiveness against Delta infection declined steadily over time but recovered to 93% (95%CI, 92-94%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose. In contrast, receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines was not protective against Omicron. Vaccine effectiveness against Omicron was 37% (95%CI, 19-50%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose.

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