New insights into three trajectories of omicron-related all-cause death reduced by COVID-19 booster vaccination

Yen Po Yeh, Ting Yu Lin, Yu Ching Yao, Chen Yang Hsu, Amy Ming Fang Yen, Sam Li Sheng Chen, Tony Hsiu Hsi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The trajectories of all-cause deaths linked to omicron infections are rarely studied, especially in relation to the efficacy of booster shots. For assessing three epidemiological death trajectories, including dying from COVID-19, dying with COVID-19, and non-COVID-19 death, we offer a new COVID-19-and-death competing risk model that deals with the primary pathway (e.g., dying from COVID-19) competing with two other pathways. Methods: We applied this model to track three trajectories: deaths directly from COVID-19, deaths with COVID-19 as a contributing factor, and indirect non-COVID-19 deaths. The study used data from a Taiwanese cohort, covering periods of Omicron subvariants BA.2, BA.5, and BA.2.75. It focused on the effectiveness of monovalent and bivalent booster vaccines against these death trajectories. Results: The highest mortality was observed during the BA.2 phase, which decreased in the BA.5 period and increased again in the BA.2.75 period. Analyzing each trajectory, we noted similar trends in deaths directly from and with COVID-19, while non-COVID-19 deaths remained stable across subvariants. Booster vaccines reduced all-cause mortality by 58% (52%−62%) for BA.2, 70% (65%−75%) for BA.5%, and 75% (70%−80%) for BA.2.75, compared to incomplete vaccination. The reduction in deaths directly from COVID-19 was 66% (61%−72%) for BA.2, 78% (72%−84%) for BA.5%, and 85% (76%−93%) for BA.2.75. For deaths with COVID-19, the figures were 46% (36%−55%), 76% (68%−84%), and 90% (86%−95%). Additionally, the booster shots decreased non-COVID-19 deaths by 64% (63%−66%) for BA.2, 38% (36%−40%) for BA.5, and 19% (17%−21%) for BA.2.75. Conclusion: Our competing risk analysis is effective for monitoring all-cause death trajectories amidst various Omicron infections. It provides insights into the impact of booster vaccines, especially bivalent ones, and highlights the consequences of inadequate healthcare for vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • All-cause death
  • Omicron
  • Trajectories
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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