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Relative Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination with 3 Compared to 2 Doses Against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) Among an Australian Population with Low Prior Rates of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
20 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2022More...
Background: Most COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness studies are in settings with significant prior community transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We estimate effectiveness of 3 versus 2 vaccine doses against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 Omicron in a mostly infection-naiive but highly vaccinated Australian population.
Methods: Cohort study of adults aged 40+ years resident in Sydney followed from 1 Jan 2022 for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalisation or death using linked immunisation, disease notification and hospitalisation registers. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) and corresponding relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) were estimated comparing 3 to 2 vaccine dose recipients by time since dose receipt, vaccine brand, and prior infection. Absolute risk reductions and numbers needed to boost by age groups were calculated.
Findings: 2,053,123 infection-naiive individuals (mean age 59 years) were followed for 327,272 person-years for infection and 224,269 person-years for severe outcomes (hospitalisation/death). There were 175,849 infections and 4113 hospitalisations/deaths of which 670 were deaths. In comparison with individuals who received dose 2 within the last 3 months, rVE in dose 3 recipients was 7% (95%CI 5-9%) against infection and 65% (95%CI 61-69%) against hospitalisation/death. Almost all dose 3 recipients had an mRNA vaccine; there was little difference in dose 3 rVE by primary course vaccine brand (ChAdOx1 versus BNT162b2). Over the 6-week study period, one hospitalisation/death was avoided for every 192 adults aged ≥70 years boosted with dose 3 in the infection-naiive cohort. The aHR for hospitalisation/death from Omicron was 0.12 (95%CI 0.07-0.23) for 2-dose recipients with a prior Delta infection compared with 2-dose recipients with no prior infection.
Interpretation: Receipt of a third COVID-19 vaccine dose significantly reduced hospitalisations and deaths during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infections in a primarily infection-naiive Australian population.
Funding: NSW Ministry of Health
Declaration of Interest: All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare
Ethical Approval: This study was conducted as part of NSW public health COVID-19 management and ethics approval was not required.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Omicron, vaccine effectiveness, hybrid immunity
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation