Closeup image of senior woman receiving a vaccination; Credit: Getty Images

Good news continues to follow the newly released second COVID-19 booster.

Researchers at the Clalit Research Institute in Tel Aviv recently announced the booster provides a significant benefit to older Americans, as well as a relatively positive safety record. Ashish K. Jha, M.D., the new White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told Fox News on Sunday there was “pretty compelling” new data from Israel indicating that the fourth shot provided significant protection for people over 60.

As reported earlier by McKnight’s Clinical Daily, the fourth dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine cuts the risk of infection and severe illness in older adults when compared to a third dose given four months earlier. Study authors did say, meanwhile, that the length of protection from the booster remains to be seen, as well as whether repeat boosters are a good strategy for future COVID-19 mitigation is still a matter of debate.

So far, generally mild reactions to the booster have been reported. Officials say the fourth COVID vaccine dose gives 76% added protection against death. The Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy also reported a high level of efficacy with the second booster. Compared with a third vaccine dose, a fourth dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine lowered the risk of infection, symptomatic infection, hospitalization, severe illness and death by 52% to 76% — depending on the measure — amid the omicron surge among older adults.

As HealthDay reported, second booster recipients reported generally mild side effects from the BNT162b2 mRNA Booster. Thirty percent of those aged 60 years or older reported at least one adverse event, and few sought medical attention, citing a April 18 report in JAMA Network Open.

Meanwhile, a top FDA official said a fourth dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines may be released in the fall, according to Fierce Pharma.