A new study in Israel provides further evidence to support the fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, as it shows that it helped curtail deaths in the country. The fourth dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine helped halve the risk of death from the disease amongst patients in severe condition and aged over 60. Assuta Ashdod University Hospital had carried out the study, but it is yet to be peer-reviewed. The study further disclosed that the odds of a patient requiring ventilation were also reduced by half, thanks to the fourth shot. The comparison was done between people who had received three shots and those who had gotten the fourth as well.
It was led by Dr. Tal Brosh, who said that it appears that the fourth COVID-19 shot seems to reduce the two worst possible outcomes of the coronavirus significantly i.e. ventilation and death. The director of infectious diseases at Assuta Ashdod and coordinator of the Epidemic Management Team in Israel that advises the government, Brosh said that the results indicated that it was a good idea to give boosters to the at-risk groups whenever a new wave of the virus hits. Israel had taken action before other countries and had given the fourth shot to the at-risk population and the elderly, along with medical workers back in the winter when the Omicron wave had struck.
According to Brosh, they had discovered that those who had received the fourth shot saw their chances of dying or being ventilated reduced by half. To put it simply, he said that even if the vaccine failed in preventing infection and preventing you from ending up in the hospital, but they still made a difference. The study reviewed severe cases in about 1,049 patients and all of these were over the age of 60. There were 14 hospitals in Israel that participated in the study. These patients had been admitted in one of these hospitals in the last two weeks of January.
50% of patients above the age of 60 who had gotten three doses of the vaccine and had been admitted due to severe conditions lost their lives. In comparison, only 30% of those who had gotten the fourth shot died. Statistical tools were used to make adjustments for the differences between these groups. The conclusion was that the risk of getting ventilated or dying was almost two-fold lower for people who had gotten the fourth shot.
Brosh stated that it was not about the number of doses that have been given, but about how freshly boosted a patient is, which should help deal in future waves. Brosh also said that most of the people who ended up at the hospital were usually at-risk individuals and the elderly, which meant that a booster was not necessarily needed for the general population for now. He said that three doses were enough for most people and boosters were only required for the immunosuppressed, elderly, those who are highly vulnerable and people suffering from morbidities.