INDIANAPOLIS — A new study co-authored by an Indianapolis doctor at the Regenstrief Institute found that those who got a booster shot, or third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, had a significant increase in protection against COVID-19 omicron variant-related hospitalizations.
Regenstrief is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research network that monitors the vaccine's effectiveness throughout the pandemic. The study looked at the effectiveness of the two dose vaccines up to six months, after six months and with a booster.
Dr. Shaun Grannis, Regenstrief Institute's VP for Data and Analytics, says the booster shot results showed "significant" improvements in preventing emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
The study found:
After a two dose series: 38% effective in protecting against omicron-related emergency department visits and 57% effective in protecting against omicron variant-related hospitalizations.
14 days after a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot: 82% effective in protecting against Omicron variant-associated emergency department visits, 90% effective in protecting against omicron variant-related hospitalizations.
With the delta variant, the booster dose was found to protect against 94% of both COVID-19 Delta variant associated emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
"We're very encouraged by these numbers and I think it should give hope to those who are concerned about what's happening with omicron," Dr. Grannis said. "We're seeing some of the highest numbers of cases, daily cases in Indiana that we've seen in the pandemic ... I think, you know, this gives us some more evidence suggesting that vaccines are a very powerful defense against the virus."
Grannis says the study can also give hope to those who are concerned about hospitalizations that have been slowly climbing in Indiana.
"We're still in that phase of dealing with this high case rate and so I think people who've already received their booster I think can feel more confident about their vaccine, and those who have been contemplating that booster, I think can be encouraged and perhaps have a better sense of the effectiveness there," he said.
To read the full study or to learn more, click here.