Number needed to vaccinate with a COVID-19 booster to prevent a COVID-19-associated hospitalization during SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant predominance, December 2021-February 2022, VISION Network: a retrospective cohort study Journal Article uri icon
  • BACKGROUND: Understanding the usefulness of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses-particularly given varying disease incidence-is needed to support public health policy. We characterize the benefits of COVID-19 booster doses using number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one COVID-19-associated hospitalization or emergency department encounter. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of immunocompetent adults at five health systems in four U.S. states during SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 predominance (December 2021-February 2022). Included patients completed a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series and were either eligible to or received a booster dose. NNV were estimated using hazard ratios for each outcome (hospitalization and emergency department encounters), with results stratified by three 25-day periods and site. FINDINGS: 1,285,032 patients contributed 938 hospitalizations and 2076 emergency department encounters. 555,729 (43.2%) patients were aged 18-49 years, 363,299 (28.3%) 50-64 years, and 366,004 (28.5%) ≥ 65 years. Most patients were female (n = 765,728, 59.6%), White (n = 990,224, 77.1%), and non-Hispanic (n = 1,063,964, 82.8%). 37.2% of patients received a booster and 62.8% received only two doses. Median estimated NNV to prevent one hospitalization was 205 (range 44-615) and NNV was lower across study periods for adults aged ≥ 65 years (110, 46, and 88, respectively) and those with underlying medical conditions (163, 69, and 131, respectively). Median estimated NNV to prevent one emergency department encounter was 156 (range 75-592). INTERPRETATION: The number of patients needed to receive a booster dose was highly dependent on local disease incidence, outcome severity, and patient risk factors for moderate-to-severe disease. FUNDING: Funding was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention though contract 75D30120C07986 to Westat, Inc. and contract 75D30120C07765 to Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.

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    publication date
  • 2023
  • published in
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Hospitalization
  • Prevention
  • Retrospective Studies
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