Objectives: Disease control is important to limit the social, economic and health effects of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of novel variants emerging. Evidence suggests vaccines are less effective against the Omicron variant, but their impact on disease control is unclear. Methods: We used a longitudinal fixed effects Poisson regression model to assess the impact of vaccination on COVID-19 case rates across 32 countries in Europe from 13th October to 01st January 2022. We controlled for country and time fixed effects and the severity of public health restrictions. Results: Full vaccination coverage increased by 4.2%, leading to a 54% reduction in case rates across Europe (p < 0.001). This protection decreased over time but remained significant at 5 weeks after the detection of Omicron. Mean booster vaccination rates increased from 2.71% to 24.5% but provided no significant additional benefit. For every one-unit increase in the severity of public health restrictions, case rates fell by a further 2% (p = 0.019). Conclusion: Full vaccination significantly limited the spread of COVID-19 and blunted the impact of the Omicron variant, despite becoming less useful over time.
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Copyright © 2022 Jain, Serisier and Lorgelly.
- public health restrictions
- vaccine effectiveness