Initial results from research at Israel's Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer has found that the fourth vaccination against Covid raises the level of antibodies in the blood five-fold. The research, led by Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, was conducted on people who had had a third booster jab but whose level of antibodies had fallen below 700.
The research did not specifically address the efficacy of the fourth vaccination in neutralizing the Omicron variant of Covid but the research did find that the fourth vaccination protects against the fading of efficacy against the Delta variant. Taking into account that the third booster jab does offer better protection against Omicron that just two jabs, the researchers concluded that it is reasonable to assume that the higher level of antibodies after the fourth vaccination will enhance protection against Omicron when the effectiveness of the third booster vaccination begins to wane.
When the Delta variant struck Israel last summer, the third booster jab which was introduced at the end of July significantly cut the infection rate and morbidity by an estimated 500 cases per day. There is a high probability, the Sheba researchers think, in light of the data so far about the fourth jab, that the extra booster can significantly reduce the spread of new Omicron cases and the number of serious cases.
Regev-Yochay revealed the results of the research during a visit to Sheba Medical Center by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. During the visit Bennett said that the most vulnerable populations at the moment are the elderly, those with underlying conditions and young children. To date about 100,000 Israelis over 60 have made appointment to have a fourth Covid vaccination.
Bennett said, "A week into the fourth dose we know to a higher degree of certainty that the fourth dose is safe. The second piece of news is we know that a week after administration of a fourth dose, we see a five-fold increase in the number of antibodies in the vaccinated person. This most likely means a significant increase against infection and hospitalization."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 4, 2022.
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