Protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against the omicron variant and severe disease: a systematic review and meta-regression


The global surge in the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has resulted in many individuals with hybrid immunity (immunity developed through a combination of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination). We aimed to systematically review the magnitude and duration of the protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against infection and severe disease caused by the omicron variant.


For this systematic review and meta-regression, we searched for cohort, cross-sectional, and case–control studies in MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science,, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the WHO COVID-19 database, and Europe PubMed Central from Jan 1, 2020, to June 1, 2022, using keywords related to SARS-CoV-2, reinfection, protective effectiveness, previous infection, presence of antibodies, and hybrid immunity. The main outcomes were the protective effectiveness against reinfection and against hospital admission or severe disease of hybrid immunity, hybrid immunity relative to previous infection alone, hybrid immunity relative to previous vaccination alone, and hybrid immunity relative to hybrid immunity with fewer vaccine doses. Risk of bias was assessed with the Risk of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions Tool. We used log-odds random-effects meta-regression to estimate the magnitude of protection at 1-month intervals. This study was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42022318605).