The third coronavirus vaccine shot decreases mortality by 90% among people over the age of 50, according to an extensive study by Clalit Health Services published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers analyzed two groups – consisting of 843,208 doubly vaccinated Clalit members over the age of 50 – only one of which received the booster shot.
They observed a 90% decrease in the coronavirus death rate among the recipients of the booster shot a week or more after getting the dose, compared to the group that was only vaccinated twice. There was an 88% reduction among men and a 94% decrease among women.
The study was conducted during the Delta wave in Israel, from Aug. 6 – a week after the national booster campaign began – until Sept. 29.
“The results of the study unequivocally show that the booster is significantly associated with reducing the risk of coronavirus mortality, including the Delta variant,” said Dr. Doron Netzer, one of the researchers who led the study. “There are few interventions in the medical world to which we can attribute a 10-fold reduction in risk of death, as we have found in the case of the booster shot.
“These findings provide information and research-based data for the public in Israel and other countries, who are still undecided about getting the third vaccine. The matter is gaining momentum due to the Omicron strain and the fear of another infection wave.”