Covid booster shot important to prevent infection, English study finds
Scientists are urging eligible people to get Covid booster shots after a large survey in England found evidence of a “successful infection” more than three months after full vaccination.
Researchers at Imperial College London analyzed more than 100,000 swabs from a random sample of the population and found that the unvaccinated people had three to four times higher Covid infection rates than those who received two shots.
But while full vaccination significantly reduced infection rates, from 1.76% to 0.35% in the uninfected at three months after the second dose, the infection rate rose again to 0.55% three to six months after the second shot.
The finding suggests that protection against infection, with or without symptoms, begins to decline several months after full vaccination, although other studies suggest that vaccine protection against hospitalization and death is much stronger. .
“The potential increase of breakthrough infections over time reinforces the need for a booster program,” said Paul Elliott, the React study’s lead and professor in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial. “It’s an incentive for people to get a booster dose when it becomes available to them,” said Professor Crystal Donnelly, a statistical epidemiologist on the study. The results came as new Covid cases in the UK rose to 42,776, the highest recorded since the end of July.
Read Science editor Ian Sample’s report here: Covid booster shot important to prevent infection, English study finds