Research was recently revealed, which shows that there has been a reduction in COVID specializations by 81% amongst Israelis aged 65 and above due to the new COVID booster shots designed for the Omicron variant.
Updated shots of the Pfizer vaccine had been released in the summer and the study discovered that they were able to reduce the risk of death by 86% in this particular demographic.
But, this figure is not considered a reliable indicator of the vaccine’s effectiveness because there had only been a single death amongst people who had gotten the booster.
The hospitalization number, on the other hand, was deemed more reliable. On January 3rd, the said research was posted online, but it has not been peer-reviewed as yet.
It should be noted that it is the first assessment of the updated or ‘bivalent’ shots of the vaccine on a large scale, which have been enhanced to fight against different variants.
But, the research does not give any details about how effective the new vaccines are as opposed to the original, before they were updated.
Instead of doing so, the research answers more practical questions that have been put forward in countries where these updated vaccines have become the new standard.
Moreover, countries like the US and Israel, are also encouraging the elderly to get booster shots and these questions are being asked there.
The research focuses on the extent of the protection that people can get when they receive a booster shot, as compared to those who do not and are depending on earlier vaccines for protection.
The author of the study, Dr. Ronen Arbel stated that the gist was that getting a booster can provide additional protection to those who are 65 and above.
He said that the protection adds to what you already have thanks to earlier shots, which means it can keep you away from hospitals and end up saving your life.
He further added that while Pfizer vaccines had been the focus of the study, it could also be applicable in the case of Moderna because they have similar technologies and effectiveness of the vaccines is also similar.
According to the study, the bivalent COVID booster shots have proven to be an essential and effective tool for the 65-plus age group because it can reduce the risk of COVID illness and death.
Arbel asserted that the study is relevant globally and hoped that it would make the importance of boosters clear to the public as well as policymakers.
He also said that infection rates had been deliberately ignored in the study because the primary purpose of the vaccines is not to prevent infection, but to reduce the possibility of illness and death.
The author works at Sapir College and Clalit as a researcher and belongs to a group of scholars whose studies had been taken into account by numerous US policymakers before the third and fourth shots had been approved.
The largest healthcare provider in Israel, Clalit Health Services, runs the college.