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The I-MOVE-COVID-19 and VEBIS hospital networks have been measuring COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) in participating European countries since early 2021.


We aimed to measure VE against PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in patients ≥ 20 years hospitalised with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) from December 2021 to July 2022 (Omicron-dominant period).


In both networks, 46 hospitals (13 countries) follow a similar test-negative case–control protocol. We defined complete primary series vaccination (PSV) and first booster dose vaccination as last dose of either vaccine received ≥ 14 days before symptom onset (stratifying first booster into received < 150 and ≥ 150 days after last PSV dose). We measured VE overall, by vaccine category/product, age group and time since first mRNA booster dose, adjusting by site as a fixed effect, and by swab date, age, sex, and presence/absence of at least one commonly collected chronic condition.


We included 2,779 cases and 2,362 controls. The VE of all vaccine products combined against hospitalisation for laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 was 43% (95% CI: 29–54) for complete PSV (with last dose received ≥ 150 days before onset), while it was 59% (95% CI: 51–66) after addition of one booster dose. The VE was 85% (95% CI: 78–89), 70% (95% CI: 61–77) and 36% (95% CI: 17–51) for those with onset 14–59 days, 60–119 days and 120–179 days after booster vaccination, respectively.


Our results suggest that, during the Omicron period, observed VE against SARI hospitalisation improved with first mRNA booster dose, particularly for those having symptom onset < 120 days after first booster dose.


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