30.11.2022

Update on variant vaccines and vaccination

The independent expert panel of the National COVID-Crisis Coordination Office (GECKO) continuously evaluates the current COVID 19 situation in Austria and informs the federal government about epidemiological, medical, health systemic and societal developments based on the latest scientific findings. We have summarized the most important findings from the current Executive Report.

Vaccination, medications, and booster effectiveness

In its latest report from November, 23, GECKO reiterates the importance of the Corona vaccination and also of the COVID-19 medications. Both make a significant contribution to protecting against severe cases or death from COVID-19.

With the current Omicron subvariants, protection against infection wanes rapidly after two or three vaccinations. However, protection against severe COVID-19 courses remains longer. Protection against hospitalization also remains high, decreasing very slowly from about 90% immediately after booster vaccination to about 72% over six months and is still above 60% after more than 40 weeks.

[Source: GECKO Executive Report dated 11/23/22, pages 6 and 9]

Effectiveness of Bivalent (Variant) Vaccines

Current scientific investigations are addressing the question of whether the bivalent vaccines which have been used as of late have the potential to produce better protection against the new dominant viral variants expected now and in the near future. There is strong evidence that the bivalent vaccines will be more effective and will also be effective against the currently emerging omicron sub-variant BQ.1.1.

[Source: GECKO Executive Report dated 11/23/22, page 10]

COVID-19 recovery and vaccination

A study from Denmark shows that in individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, subsequent vaccination brings significant protection against re-infection. Depending on the virus variant, this is between 60% (Omicron) and over 90% (Delta). The study thus clearly shows that people who have recovered also benefit significantly from vaccination. A broad protection against infection through a high vaccination rate and regular boosters immediately before predicted pandemic waves could help to intercept these waves.

[Source: GECKO Executive Report dated 11/23/22, page 11]

Links

Here you can directly download the Executive Report of the GECKO meeting of November 23, 2022 (PDF, 2 MB) as well as the corresponding Short version.

All Executive Reports of the GECKO can be found here.

More about the GECKO on the website of the Federal Chancellery

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