The third dose provides more antibodies and more defenses to neutralize the coronavirus, whatever its variant in older people. Also with omicron. It is one of the main conclusions of the new seroprevalence study carried out by the Carlos III Health Institute, ENE-COVID Senior, aimed at measuring how long vaccine-induced immunity lasts in people over 65 years of age and presented by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, and the director of the organization, Cristóbal Belda.
The study reveals for the first time to what extent a booster dose raises neutralizing antibodies, that is, those that work to control the infection once it enters the cells after analyzing the immune status of 1,200 people from nursing homes and also captured in primary care centers. They have been detected 17 times more compared to the delta variant and 10, in the case of omicron.
“The antibodies of the third dose, which are also effective, have functionality against the omicron variable, increasing their effectiveness by up to 10 times compared to their non-administration”, explained Belda at the press conference after the Interterritorial Health Council. General antibodies grow, in the same line, up to 20 times. The results have been collected in the last four months with the difficulty of the changes that the pandemic has been experiencing.
38.8% of the Spanish population has a booster dose, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health. Its administration is already approved for all those of legal age, although the communities are progressively opening appointments, starting with those in their thirties, as recommended by Health.
The Ministry has been insisting for months on the importance of older people being vaccinated again and among citizens aged 70 and older it has had a very good adherence: 89% already have the third dose. “Efficacy is relevant enough,” Darias specified.
The latest ENECovid-19 data is from December 2020 and referred to the general population at that time. The fourth round pointed out that one in ten people in Spain would have been infected by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.