On a global scale, social media can be a way for people to gather information, share ideas, and reach out to others facing similar challenges. It can also be an effective platform to relay information quickly during a national or worldwide crisis.

This global reach is what has made social media a critical communication platform during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As government health organizations used it to relay recent findings on prevention and treatment, social media became more than a place to post the latest vacation photos — it became a hub of pandemic-related information.

The study’s methods

The team analyzed data from Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest healthcare organization.

The scientists followed 728,321 individuals who received a third Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine between July 2020 and September 2021. These participants were matched with an equal number of people who only received two doses of the vaccine.

The authors explain: “In this study, we estimated effectiveness starting from day 7 after the third dose, which is similar to the period used to define full vaccination after the second dose. Our choice is supported by high concentrations of antibodies in individuals 7 days after administration of the third dose.”

Primary outcomes included hospital admission related to COVID-19, severe disease, and mortality, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria.

As part of their analysis, the researchers adjusted for possible confounding factors, including sociodemographic factors, existing health conditions, and behavioral factors.

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