COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The information headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus on Sunday evening published data showing that the fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for people aged 60 and over protects three times more against serious illness and twice as much against infection, compared to elderly people who have been vaccinated with three doses.

This is in accordance with a preliminary analysis performed by a team of researchers from the Ministry of Health, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Technion, the Hebrew University, and the Gertner Institute at Sheba Medical Center.

In early January, in light of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, a fourth dose of a vaccine began to be administration to the Israeli population aged 60 and over and to at-risk populations and medical staff. A preliminary analysis of the data, which examined the usefulness of the fourth dose, found that among those aged 60 and over, the fourth dose increases the protection against infection by about two times compared to those vaccinated with three doses. In addition, the fourth dose confers three times or more protection against serious illness compared to those vaccinated with only a third dose.

The comparison of protection was made with respect to individuals vaccinated with three doses, who had passed four months or more from the date of their previous vaccination. The analysis is based on data from about 400,000 people who have vaccinated with the fourth dose, and about 600,000 who were vaccinated with the third dose over the age of 60.

The preliminary results will be updated over time with additional follow-up data.

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