Protection against Omicron BA.1/BA.2 severe disease 0–7 months after BNT162b2 booster

Ofra Amir, Yair Goldberg*, Micha Mandel, Yinon M. Bar-On, Omri Bodenheimer, Laurence Freedman, Sharon Alroy-Preis, Nachman Ash, Amit Huppert, Ron Milo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Following evidence of waning immunity against both infection and severe disease after 2 doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine, Israel began administering a 3rd BNT162b2 dose (booster) in July 2021. Recent studies showed that the 3rd dose provides a much lower protection against infection with the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant and that this protection wanes quickly. However, there is little evidence regarding the protection of the 3rd dose against Omicron (BA.1/BA.2) severe disease. In this study, we estimate the preservation of immunity from severe disease up to 7 months after receiving the booster dose. We calculate rates of severe SARS-CoV-2 disease between groups of individuals aged 60 and above, comparing those who received two doses at least 4 months previously to those who received the 3rd dose (stratified by the time from vaccination), and to those who received a 4th dose. The analysis shows that protection conferred by the 3rd dose against Omicron severe disease did not wane over a 7-month period. Moreover, a 4th dose further improved protection, with a severe disease rate approximately 3-fold lower than in the 3-dose cohorts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number315
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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