ROME, ITALY – A new study indicates that a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides little-to-no benefit or protection for the elderly after just mere months of test subjects had received the jab.
Italian researchers conducted a study where they measured the Relative Vaccine Effectiveness (RVE) of the fourth dose of COVID vaccine and compared it against the relative degree of protection it provided to individuals aged 80 and older against infection and severe disease when compared to the third dose.
Both major RNA (mRNA) vaccines currently available were included in the study: BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna).
The study found that two-to-four months after receiving the fourth dose, test subjects displayed almost no additional protection whatsoever against COVID infection, and that it had become only 30 percent effective against preventing severe illness.
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“The RVE against infection was found to decrease over the four months follow-up period, showing no additional protection 56–118 days post administration,” the study said. “The RVE of the fourth dose decreased from 28.5 percent in the time interval of 14–28 days to 7.6 percent in the time interval of 56–118 days. RVE against severe COVID-19 was higher and it decreased from 43.2 percent to 27.2 percent over the same time intervals.”
The study took place between April 11 and August 6, 2022, a period of time during which the Omicron BA.2 and BA.5 subvariants were most prevalent; based on their results, researchers stated that those who have also taken a fifth dose should have the drug’s RVE and other effects “carefully evaluated” as well.
Participants in the study involved individuals who had matched sets of data in the national vaccination registry and COVID-19 surveillance system, with the fourth vaccine dose administered at least 120 days after the third. In total, 831,555 matched data sets in total were utilized for the study.