Relative Effectiveness of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination and Booster Dose Combinations Among 18.9 Million Vaccinated Adults During the Early Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Omicron Period-United States, 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022

Clin Infect Dis. 2023 May 24;76(10):1753-1760. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad063.


Background: Small sample sizes have limited prior studies' ability to capture severe COVID-19 outcomes, especially among Ad26.COV2.S vaccine recipients. This study of 18.9 million adults aged ≥18 years assessed relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) in three recipient cohorts: (1) primary Ad26.COV2.S vaccine and Ad26.COV2.S booster (2 Ad26.COV2.S), (2) primary Ad26.COV2.S vaccine and mRNA booster (Ad26.COV2.S+mRNA), (3) two doses of primary mRNA vaccine and mRNA booster (3 mRNA).

Methods: We analyzed two de-identified datasets linked using privacy-preserving record linkage (PPRL): insurance claims and retail pharmacy COVID-19 vaccination data. We assessed the presence of COVID-19 diagnosis during January 1-March 31, 2022 in: (1) any claim, (2) outpatient claim, (3) emergency department (ED) claim, (4) inpatient claim, and (5) inpatient claim with intensive care unit (ICU) admission. rVE for each outcome comparing three recipient cohorts (reference: two Ad26.COV2.S doses) was estimated from adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Compared with two Ad26.COV2.S doses, Ad26.COV2.S+mRNA and three mRNA doses were more effective against all COVID-19 outcomes, including 57% (95% CI: 52-62) and 62% (95% CI: 58-65) rVE against an ED visit; 44% (95% CI: 34-52) and 54% (95% CI: 48-59) rVE against hospitalization; and 48% (95% CI: 22-66) and 66% (95% CI: 53-75) rVE against ICU admission, respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that Ad26.COV2.S + mRNA doses were as good as three doses of mRNA, and better than two doses of Ad26.COV2.S. Vaccination continues to be an important preventive measure for reducing the public health impact of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; J&J; SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness; booster dose.

MeSH terms

  • Ad26COVS1
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Vaccination


  • Ad26COVS1
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • RNA, Messenger