First efficacy data on bivalent boosters shows they work against infection : Health

From the article:

The updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine increased protection against symptomatic disease compared with the original monovalent vaccine given as recently as two months ago.

That’s the takeaway from a study released Tuesday morning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which offered the first clinical efficacy data for the bivalent shot since its national rollout in September.

In adults, the relative effectiveness of the bivalent vaccine’s protection against symptomatic infection ranged from about 30 percent to up to 56 percent compared with that of the monovalent vaccine, with the relative efficacy estimated to be larger the more time had passed since a person’s last monovalent shot.

The real-world look at the relative efficacy was based on data from 360,000 people. CDC researchers conducted the study between September 14 and October 11, when the omicron subvariants BA.4/5 and their sublineages dominated.

The study enrolled people already tapped into a national program aimed at increasing COVID-19 testing in areas with high social vulnerability. The study looked at people with COVID-19-like symptoms who came into partnering retail pharmacies for COVID-19 testing. Researchers collected their test results as well as their vaccination and infection history and other medical information. The study excluded people who were immunocompromised.

Of the 360,626 tests given, 121,687 (34 percent) were positive for COVID-19. Of just the positive tests, 28,874 (24 percent) were among unvaccinated people, 87,013 (72 percent) were from people who had received between two and four monovalent vaccine doses but no bivalent booster dose, and 5,800 (5 percent) had received a bivalent booster dose.

The clinical efficacy data is “really quite good,” Fauci said.

“We know [the booster] is safe. We know that it is effective. So, my message—and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium—is that: please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha echoed Fauci’s call, noting that the administration today also released plans for a six-week campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, particularly seniors and nursing home residents.

Hopefully more people will take this new information to heart and get themselves and their friends and families boosted, especially in advance of the holiday seasons.

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