The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants calls for continuous monitoring of vaccine effectiveness (VE). We estimated the absolute effectiveness of complete 2-dose primary vaccination and booster vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, and the duration of protection against Delta and Omicron BA.1 symptomatic infection and severe outcomes. French residents aged ≥ 50 years, who presented with SARS-CoV-2-like symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 between June 6, 2021 and February 10, 2022 were included. A test-negative study was conducted to estimate VE against symptomatic infection, using conditional logistic regression models. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed to assess additional protection against severe COVID-19 outcomes (any hospitalization, and intensive care units [ICU] admission or in-hospital death). In total, 273 732 cases and 735 919 controls were included. VE against symptomatic infection after 2-doses vaccination was 86% (95% CI: 75%-92%) for Delta and 70% (58%-79%) for Omicron, 7-30 days post vaccination. Protection waned over time, reaching 60% (57%-63%) against Delta and 20% (16.%-24%) for Omicron BA.1 >120 days after vaccination. The booster dose fully restored protection against symtpomatic Delta infection (95% [81%-99%]) but only partially against symptomatic Omicron BA.1 infection(63% [59%-67%]). VE against Delta-related severe outcomes was above 95% with 2 doses, and persisted for at least four months. Protection against any Omicron BA.1-hospitalization was 92% (65%-99%) at 8-30 days, and 82% (67%-91%) >120 days from the second dose. Against BA.1 ICU admission or in-patient death, VE stood at 98% (0%-100%) at 8-30 days, and was 90% (40%-99%) >120 days from the second dose. Protection confered by mRNA vaccines against severe disease caused by either Delta or Omicron BA.1 appeared high and sustained over time. Protection against symptomatic diseases after 2 doses decreased rapidly, especially against Omicron BA.1. A booster dose restored high protection against Delta but only a partial one against Omicron BA.1.
Available online 27 February 2023