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1.
N Engl J Med ; 387(1): 21-34, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890356

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The protection conferred by natural immunity, vaccination, and both against symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with the BA.1 or BA.2 sublineages of the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant is unclear. METHODS: We conducted a national, matched, test-negative, case-control study in Qatar from December 23, 2021, through February 21, 2022, to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna), natural immunity due to previous infection with variants other than omicron, and hybrid immunity (previous infection and vaccination) against symptomatic omicron infection and against severe, critical, or fatal coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). RESULTS: The effectiveness of previous infection alone against symptomatic BA.2 infection was 46.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.5 to 51.9). The effectiveness of vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was negligible (-1.1%; 95% CI, -7.1 to 4.6), but nearly all persons had received their second dose more than 6 months earlier. The effectiveness of three doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was 52.2% (95% CI, 48.1 to 55.9). The effectiveness of previous infection and two doses of BNT162b2 was 55.1% (95% CI, 50.9 to 58.9), and the effectiveness of previous infection and three doses of BNT162b2 was 77.3% (95% CI, 72.4 to 81.4). Previous infection alone, BNT162b2 vaccination alone, and hybrid immunity all showed strong effectiveness (>70%) against severe, critical, or fatal Covid-19 due to BA.2 infection. Similar results were observed in analyses of effectiveness against BA.1 infection and of vaccination with mRNA-1273. CONCLUSIONS: No discernable differences in protection against symptomatic BA.1 and BA.2 infection were seen with previous infection, vaccination, and hybrid immunity. Vaccination enhanced protection among persons who had had a previous infection. Hybrid immunity resulting from previous infection and recent booster vaccination conferred the strongest protection. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).


Subject(s)
2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunity, Innate , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/immunology , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/therapeutic use , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination
2.
Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare ; 15:531-540, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1749460

ABSTRACT

Purpose Predisposition to acute illness from COVID-19 is suggested to correlate with cigarette smoking as it augments the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, including infections. However, the effects of smoking on COVID-19 symptoms are not well described and controversial. In this study, we aim to explore the associations between smoking and COVID-19 symptoms. Subjects and Methods A cross-sectional study using the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Qatar database was administered to a Qatari population with confirmed COVID-19 disease who filled in pre-defined phone-call questionnaire between 27th February 2020 and 31st December 2020. We analyzed 11,701 non-vaccinated COVID-19 individuals (2952 smokers and 8749 non-smokers) with confirmed RT-PCR test results. The association of smoking and the presence of symptoms as well as patient characteristics was calculated using Pearson’s Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests, adjusting for potential covariates. Results Compared with the non-smokers, symptomatic COVID-19 infection is significantly higher in smokers. In addition, we found fever as the most common symptom developed in COVID-19 patients followed by cough, headache, muscle ache, and sore throat. As compared to other symptoms, association of smoking with chills and abdominal pain was less evident (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). However, both groups showed similar rates of developing cough. Conclusion In conclusion, smoking is associated with COVID-19 symptoms frequency in non-vaccinated patients;nevertheless, further investigations are necessary to understand the mechanism of this association which could generate new targets for the management of COVID-19 in smoker patients.

4.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 768883, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555159

ABSTRACT

Qatar, a country with a strong health system and a diverse population consisting mainly of expatriate residents, has experienced two large waves of COVID-19 outbreak. In this study, we report on 2634 SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences from infected patients in Qatar between March-2020 and March-2021, representing 1.5% of all positive cases in this period. Despite the restrictions on international travel, the viruses sampled from the populace of Qatar mirrored nearly the entire global population's genomic diversity with nine predominant viral lineages that were sustained by local transmission chains and the emergence of mutations that are likely to have originated in Qatar. We reported an increased number of mutations and deletions in B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 lineages in a short period. These findings raise the imperative need to continue the ongoing genomic surveillance that has been an integral part of the national response to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 profile and re-emergence in Qatar.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology
5.
N Engl J Med ; 385(24): e83, 2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454879

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waning of vaccine protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is a concern. The persistence of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine effectiveness against infection and disease in Qatar, where the B.1.351 (or beta) and B.1.617.2 (or delta) variants have dominated incidence and polymerase-chain-reaction testing is done on a mass scale, is unclear. METHODS: We used a matched test-negative, case-control study design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against any SARS-CoV-2 infection and against any severe, critical, or fatal case of Covid-19, from January 1 to September 5, 2021. RESULTS: Estimated BNT162b2 effectiveness against any SARS-CoV-2 infection was negligible in the first 2 weeks after the first dose. It increased to 36.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 33.2 to 40.2) in the third week after the first dose and reached its peak at 77.5% (95% CI, 76.4 to 78.6) in the first month after the second dose. Effectiveness declined gradually thereafter, with the decline accelerating after the fourth month to reach approximately 20% in months 5 through 7 after the second dose. Effectiveness against symptomatic infection was higher than effectiveness against asymptomatic infection but waned similarly. Variant-specific effectiveness waned in the same pattern. Effectiveness against any severe, critical, or fatal case of Covid-19 increased rapidly to 66.1% (95% CI, 56.8 to 73.5) by the third week after the first dose and reached 96% or higher in the first 2 months after the second dose; effectiveness persisted at approximately this level for 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: BNT162b2-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection appeared to wane rapidly following its peak after the second dose, but protection against hospitalization and death persisted at a robust level for 6 months after the second dose. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Qatar/epidemiology , Time Factors , Young Adult
7.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e193, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366777

ABSTRACT

There is a paucity of evidence about the prevalence and risk factors for symptomatic infection among children. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its risk factors in children and adolescents aged 0-18 years in Qatar. We conducted a cross-sectional study of all children aged 0-18 years diagnosed with COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction in Qatar during the period 1st March to 31st July 2020. A generalised linear model with a binomial family and identity link was used to assess the association between selected factors and the prevalence of symptomatic infection. A total of 11 445 children with a median age of 8 years (interquartile range (IQR) 3-13 years) were included in this study. The prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 was 36.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.7-37.5), and it was similar between children aged <5 years (37.8%), 5-9 years (34.3%) and 10 + years (37.3%). The most frequently reported symptoms among the symptomatic group were fever (73.5%), cough (34.8%), headache (23.2%) and sore throat (23.2%). Fever (82.8%) was more common in symptomatic children aged <5 years, while cough (38.7%) was more prevalent in those aged 10 years or older, compared to other age groups. Variables associated with an increased risk of symptomatic infection were; contact with confirmed cases (RD 0.21; 95% CI 0.20-0.23; P = 0.001), having visited a health care facility (RD 0.54; 95% CI 0.45-0.62; P = 0.001), and children aged under 5 years (RD 0.05; 95% CI 0.02-0.07; P = 0.001) or aged 10 years or older (RD 0.04; 95% CI 0.02-0.06; P = 0.001). A third of the children with COVID-19 were symptomatic with a higher proportion of fever in very young children and a higher proportion of cough in those between 10 and 18 years of age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough/epidemiology , Fever/epidemiology , Headache/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Qatar/epidemiology , Risk Factors
8.
Front Public Health ; 8: 573925, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021920

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 continues to claim hundreds of thousands of people's lives. It mostly affects the elderly and those with chronic illness but can also be fatal in younger age groups. This article is the first comprehensive analysis of the epidemiological and clinical outcomes of the travel-associated SARS-CoV-2 cases until April 19, 2020. Methods: Demographic and clinical data of travel-associated SARS-CoV-2 cases were collected for the period between January 16, 2020 and April 19, 2020. More than one hundred and eighty databases were searched, including the World Health Organization (WHO) database, countries' ministries websites, and official media sites. Demographic and clinical data were extracted and analyzed. Results: A total of 1,186 cases from 144 countries meeting the inclusion criteria were reported and included in the analysis. The mean age of the cases was 44 years, with a male to female ratio of 1.6:1. Travel-associated cases originated from more than 40 countries, with China, Italy, and Iran reporting the highest numbers at 208, 225, and 155, respectively. Clinical symptoms varied between patients, with some reporting symptoms during the flights (117 cases; 9.87%). A total of 312 (26.31%) cases were hospitalized, of which 50 cases (4.22%) were fatal. Conclusion: Major gaps exist in the epidemiology and clinical spectrum of the COVID-19 travel-associated cases due to a lack of reporting and sharing data of many counties. The identification and implementation of methodologies for measuring traveler's risk to coronavirus would help in minimizing the spread of the virus, especially in the next waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Demography , Infection Control , Travel , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Iran/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
9.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e040428, 2020 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841644

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To define the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 in Qatar and determine factors associated with severe or critical illness. DESIGN: Case series of first 5685 COVID-19 cases in Qatar. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: All confirmed COVID-19 cases in the State of Qatar between 28 February and 18 April 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of total and daily new COVID-19 infections; demographic characteristics and comorbidity burden and severity of infection; factors associated with severe or critical illness. RESULTS: Between 28 February and 18 April 2020, 5685 cases of COVID-19 were identified. Median age was 34 (IQR 28-43) years, 88.9% were male and 8.7% were Qatari nationals. Overall, 83.6% had no concomitant comorbidity, and 3.0% had three or more comorbidities. The overwhelming majority (90.9%) were asymptomatic or with minimal symptoms, with 2.0% having severe or critical illness. Seven deaths were observed during the time interval studied. Presence of hypertension or diabetes was associated with a higher risk of severe or critical illness, but age was not. The epidemiological curve indicated two distinct patterns of infection, a larger cluster among expatriate craft and manual workers and a smaller one among Qatari nationals returning from abroad during the epidemic. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 infections in Qatar started in two distinct clusters, but then became more widespread in the population through community transmission. Infections were mostly asymptomatic or with minimal symptoms and associated with very low mortality. Severe/critical illness was associated with presence of hypertension or diabetes but not with increasing age.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Mellitus , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Hypertension , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Young Adult
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