Nursing home residents who received a second mRNA booster during waves of the omicron variant were significantly less likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19 than those who received a single one, according to a new study. booster dose.
A second booster provided residents with a 74% lower risk of serious outcomes, including hospitalization and death, and 90% protection against death alone over a 60-day period, CDC investigators and their researchers reported. colleagues in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study was conducted in 196 community care homes in the United States. Residents received a second booster dose (fourth COVID-19 vaccination) between March 29 and June 15, 2022, a period of omicron dominance ending with the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.
The findings suggest that facilities should continue to ensure nursing home residents stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, including new booster doses of the bivalent vaccine, “to prevent serious consequences of COVID-19,” the authors concluded.
Push to vaccinate seniors
The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee in March recommended a second booster dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for adults ages 50 and older and immunocompromised people who had received a first booster four months or more earlier. A bivalent booster vaccine targeting omicron was later cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and on September 1 recommended by CDC advisers for all people ages 12 and older who had completed the primary series using monovalent vaccines. two months or more earlier.
The White House is offering COVID-19 boosters as an annual vaccination. In early September, top health officials said they planned to raise awareness of vulnerable groups such as nursing home residents who may need more protection.
Two-thirds of adults receive no further booster shots
News of the findings among nursing home residents coincides with the release of survey results showing that, despite consistent findings about the protective effect of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, two-thirds of American adults have failed. not intend to get a COVID-19 booster shot, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Within four weeks of its release, only 3.5% of the 215 million people eligible to receive the updated reminder did so, Reuters reported. Some adults were not eligible because they were not up to date on their other doses. And only half of adults surveyed said they had heard a lot or some information about new boosters.
Antibody levels match a younger cohort
Many studies have linked getting a booster shot to high levels of protection against severe COVID-19 disease, especially in those most at risk. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study published in May found that COVID protection matches that of young adults when seniors ages 75 to 98 receive a booster shot.
When blood samples from these elderly people were tested between 14 and 30 days after receiving the booster, their antibody levels matched those of a similarly vaccinated cohort aged 75 and under.
Young adults generally produce more antibodies against the disease, both naturally and after vaccination, than older people. They are therefore generally better protected against serious illnesses.
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