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Latest study shows booster jabs give over 90% protection against symptomatic COVID in adults over 50


Results from first UK real-world study by UKHSA show significantly increased protection against symptomatic disease from Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster dose in those aged 50 and above.


These findings show that 2 weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those with AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.



After a primary course of AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, effectiveness against symptomatic disease appears to wear off with time.


Overall, vaccine effectiveness against severe outcomes such as hospital admission remains high for several months after completing the primary course, but greater waning has been seen in older adults and those with underlying medical conditions compared to young, healthy adults.


As a result, the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) recommended a booster vaccine programme to eligible groups, including adults aged 50 years and above on 14 September 2021. This was extended to adults over 40 on 15 November 2021.



Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said:


“Our findings demonstrate the protection provided by the booster dose against symptomatic infection in those at highest risk from developing severe COVID-19.


“We know that in older age groups, protection from the first 2 vaccines is beginning to wear off, leaving millions that need extra protection as we head into winter.


“That is why it is critical that you come forward for your booster as soon as you become eligible so we can drive down hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.”