With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, accurate assessment of population immunity and the effectiveness of booster and enhancer vaccine doses is critical. We compare COVID-19-related hospitalization incidence rates in 2,412,755 individuals across four exposure levels: non-recent vaccine immunity (two BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine doses five or more months prior), boosted vaccine immunity (three BNT162b2 doses), infection-induced immunity (previous COVID-19 without a subsequent BNT162b2 dose), and enhanced infection-induced immunity (previous COVID-19 with a subsequent BNT162b2 dose). Rates, adjusted for potential demographic, clinical and health-seeking-behavior confounders, were assessed from July-November 2021 when the Delta variant was predominant. Compared with non-recent vaccine immunity, COVID-19-related hospitalization incidence rates were reduced by 89% (87–91%) for boosted vaccine immunity, 66% (50–77%) for infection-induced immunity and 75% (61–83%) for enhanced infection-induced immunity. We demonstrate that infection-induced immunity (enhanced or not) provides more protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization than non-recent vaccine immunity, but less protection than booster vaccination. Additionally, our results suggest that vaccinating individuals with infection-induced immunity further enhances their protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
- Physics and Astronomy (all)