The mRNA vaccines from Moderna and BioNTech / Pfizer show the highest effectiveness in the AGES study.
© Thomas Böhm
Vienna – In a study published on Thursday, AGES determined the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines approved in Austria: The best protection against infection across all age groups is shown by the mRNA vaccines, also against the Delta variant. In the over-60s, the effectiveness of Astra Zeneca was almost the same, J&J trailed off. “This current study shows again that vaccination works,” stressed Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens).
In Austria, the mRNA vaccines (BioNTech / Pfizer / Moderna) as well as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have been used so far. For the entire study period (week 5 to 35), the highest effectiveness against symptomatic infection was found with the mRNA vaccines. For the twelve to 17 year olds this was around 95 percent, in the older age groups around 85 percent. At Johnson & Johnson, effectiveness increased with age – from just under 38 to almost 65 percent for those over 60. Astra-Zeneca offered the elders the most protection with over 80 percent, and 61.24 percent was also among the 18 to 39 year olds.
According to the approval, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only required a single vaccination. Mückstein: “The new results of the AGES study confirm the recommendation of the National Vaccination Board: Those people who have received a vaccination from Johnson & Johnson need a second vaccination dose in order to continue to be adequately protected. I therefore appeal to everyone to be timely to collect your recommended vaccination dose. “
Prevention of infection studied
The effectiveness of the serums in terms of preventing severe COVID-19 disease (hospitalization) and the fatal outcome was not calculated in the study. AGES does not yet have any reliable data on the severity or information on hospitalization or necessary intensive care.
The experts examined for the first time at population level in Austria (calendar weeks 5 to 35) the effectiveness in terms of preventing infection (regardless of the occurrence of symptoms) and symptomatic infection (illness) according to age groups, vaccines used and predominant virus variants (alpha, delta) .
The alpha period or delta period is the time in which these variants accounted for more than 90 percent: With alpha this was the case from calendar week 16 to 22, with delta from 27 to 35 the case. In the alpha period, only the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines was examined, since the vaccination with the other vaccines was too small.
During the alpha period, the mRNA vaccines, almost exclusively used sera, prevented infection (asymptomatic and symptomatic combined) in 86 percent of those over the age of 18. Among the over 60-year-olds it was as much as 92.05 percent.
J&J with only 40 to 63 percent effectiveness
In the delta period, the effectiveness of all vaccines combined in preventing infection (asymptomatic and symptomatic) was over 71 percent among 18- to 39-year-olds, but 92.5 percent among younger and older people.
In terms of preventing symptomatic infection, J&J performed worst at around 40 percent in the younger group, increasing to 63 percent in the 60-plus group. The mRNA vaccines achieved over 95 percent protection in the youngest, and a little more or less than 84 percent protection in the others. AstraZeneca found almost 82 percent effectiveness against a symptomatic illness in the elderly, but only 61 percent in the 18- to 39-year-olds. (WHAT)