In Israel, healthcare professionals and those over 60 are now being encouraged to take the fourth booster dose – which appears to significantly increase waning third dose antibodies
The Sheba trial, run on 150 healthcare professionals, shows that a fourth dose of vaccine can increase antibodies fivefold. The people involved in this study had been given a third dose in August, 2021, which was followed up by a fourth in December.
fourth dose can increase antibodies fivefold
The Israeli Health Ministry found that the full two doses of Pfizer reduces Delta infection by 89.4% in asymptomatic cases, where there are no visible or tangible symptoms. In COVID cases that bring symptoms, Pfizer seems to work to provide a startling 93.7% level of protection.
However, the level of efficacy against the Omicron variant is relatively less-known despite the existence of real-world data in Israel. So far, it seems that the new variant is more transmissible, leading to a rise in infection levels.
What happens next?
Now, official guidance is that all those aged over 60 should come forward for the fourth booster dose.
Currently, 66% of people in Israel are atleast double-vaccinated.
Early on in 2020, Pfizer and Israel agreed a deal for continuous drug supply. This deal holds as long as data is transparently shared about how the vaccines are working. Despite early international discussions about responsibility for access to the vaccine, Palestine remains only 32% fully vaccinated.
Speaking about the decision to invite over 60s for the fourth booster, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “Recent mortality in Israel has been among the lowest in the world.
“In Britain, mortality per capita is 50 times greater. In Germany it is 100 times a greater. In the US, it is 130 times greater than in the State of Israel.”
According to Reuters, a new trial will look at the Moderna booster as a fourth dose, in a similar group of Israelis.