Correlation of SARS-CoV-2 Breakthrough Infections to Time-from-vaccine; Preliminary Study
The short-term effectiveness of a two-dose regimen of the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA BNT162b2 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine was widely demonstrated. However, long term effectiveness is still unknown. A nationwide vaccination campaign was initiated early in Israel, allowing for a real-world evaluation of the interaction between protection and time-from-vaccine. The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant became the dominant strain in Israel in June 2021, as Israel is currently experiencing a new surge of cases. Leveraging the centralized computerized database of Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), we assessed the correlation between time-from-vaccine and incidence of breakthrough infection. We found that the risk for infection was significantly higher for early vaccinees compared to those vaccinated later. This preliminary finding should prompt further investigagions into long-term protection against different strains, and prospective clinical trials to examine the effect of a booster vaccine against breakthrough infection.