Postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis against COVID-19

Zohar Shmuelian, Yehuda Warszawer, Omri Or, Sagit Arbel-Alon, Hilla Giladi, Meytal Avgil Tsadok, Roy Cohen, Galit Shefer, Dekel Shlomi, Moshe Hoshen, Antonello Maruotti, Giovanna Jona-Lasinio, Eithan Galun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the COVID-19 pandemic, postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis is not a practice. Following exposure, only patient isolation is imposed. Moreover, no therapeutic prevention approach is applied. We asked whether evidence exists for reduced mortality rate following postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis. To estimate the effectiveness of postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis, we obtained data from the Israeli Ministry of Health registry. The study population consisted of Israeli residents aged 12 years and older, identified for the first time as PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2, between December 20th, 2020 (the beginning of the vaccination campaign) and October 7th, 2021. We compared “recently injected” patients—that proved PCR-positive on the same day or on 1 of the 5 consecutive days after first vaccination (representing an unintended postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis)s—to unvaccinated control group. Among Israeli residents identified PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2, 11 687 were found positive on the day they received their first vaccine injection (BNT162b2) or on 1 of the 5 days thereafter. In patients over 65 years, 143 deaths occurred among 1412 recently injected (10.13%) compared to 255 deaths among the 1412 unvaccinated (18.06%), odd ratio (OR) 0.51 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41–0.64; p < 0.001). A significant reduction in the death toll was observed among the 55–64 age group, with 8 deaths occurring among the 1320 recently injected (0.61%) compared to 24 deaths among the 1320 unvaccinated control (1.82%), OR 0.33 (95% CI: 0.13–0.76; p = 0.007). Postexposure-vaccine-prophylaxis is effective against death in COVID-19 infection.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere28274
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Medical Virology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • Covid-19
  • postexposure prophylaxis
  • vaccine


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