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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017770

ABSTRACT

Beta (B.1.351) variant COVID-19 disease was investigated in Qatar. Compared to Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, odds of progressing to severe disease were 1.24-fold (95% CI: 1.11-1.39) higher for Beta. Odds of progressing to critical disease were 1.49-fold (95% CI: 1.13-1.97) higher. Odds of COVID-19 death were 1.57-fold (95% CI: 1.03-2.43) higher.

2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4675, 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984386

ABSTRACT

There is significant genetic distance between SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant BA.1 and BA.2 sub-lineages. This study investigates immune protection of infection with one sub-lineage against reinfection with the other sub-lineage in Qatar during a large BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron wave, from December 19, 2021 to March 21, 2022. Two national matched, retrospective cohort studies are conducted to estimate effectiveness of BA.1 infection against reinfection with BA.2 (N = 20,994; BA.1-against-BA.2 study), and effectiveness of BA.2 infection against reinfection with BA.1 (N = 110,315; BA.2-against-BA.1 study). Associations are estimated using Cox proportional-hazards regression models after multiple imputation to assign a sub-lineage status for cases with no sub-lineage status (using probabilities based on the test date). Effectiveness of BA.1 infection against reinfection with BA.2 is estimated at 94.2% (95% CI: 89.2-96.9%). Effectiveness of BA.2 infection against reinfection with BA.1 is estimated at 80.9% (95% CI: 73.1-86.4%). Infection with the BA.1 sub-lineage appears to induce strong, but not full immune protection against reinfection with the BA.2 sub-lineage, and vice versa, for at least several weeks after the initial infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reinfection , Humans , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271324, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938448

ABSTRACT

We developed a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk score to guide targeted RT-PCR testing in Qatar. The Qatar national COVID-19 testing database, encompassing a total of 2,688,232 RT-PCR tests conducted between February 5, 2020-January 27, 2021, was analyzed. Logistic regression analyses were implemented to derive the COVID-19 risk score, as a tool to identify those at highest risk of having the infection. Score cut-off was determined using the ROC curve based on maximum sum of sensitivity and specificity. The score's performance diagnostics were assessed. Logistic regression analysis identified age, sex, and nationality as significant predictors of infection and were included in the risk score. The ROC curve was generated and the area under the curve was estimated at 0.63 (95% CI: 0.63-0.63). The score had a sensitivity of 59.4% (95% CI: 59.1%-59.7%), specificity of 61.1% (95% CI: 61.1%-61.2%), a positive predictive value of 10.9% (95% CI: 10.8%-10.9%), and a negative predictive value of 94.9% (94.9%-95.0%). The concept and utility of a COVID-19 risk score were demonstrated in Qatar. Such a public health tool can have considerable utility in optimizing testing and suppressing infection transmission, while maximizing efficiency and use of available resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Public Health , Qatar/epidemiology , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05032, 2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924590

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the disease severity associated with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is important in determining appropriate management strategies at the individual and population levels. We determined the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in persons infected with the Omicron vs the Delta variant. Methods: We identified individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta and propensity-score matched controls with Omicron variant infection from the National COVID-19 Database in Qatar. We excluded temporary visitors to Qatar, those with a prior documented infection, those ≤18 years old, and those with <14 days of follow up after the index test positive date. We determined the rates of admission to the hospital, admission to intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, or death among those infected with the Delta or Omicron variants. Results: Among 9763 cases infected with the Delta variant and 11 310 cases infected with the Omicron variant, we identified 3926 propensity-score matched pairs. Among 3926 Delta infected, 3259 (83.0%) had mild, 633 (16.1%) had moderate and 34 (0.9%) had severe/critical disease. Among 3926 Omicron infected, 3866 (98.5%) had mild, 59 (1.5%) had moderate, and only 1 had severe/critical disease (overall P < 0.001). Factors associated with less moderate or severe/critical disease included infection with Omicron variant (aOR = 0.06; confidence interval (CI) = 0.05-0.09) and vaccination including a booster (aOR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.09-0.99). Conclusions: Omicron variant infection is associated with significantly lower severity of disease compared with the Delta variant. Vaccination continues to offer strong protection against severe/critical disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
5.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911730

ABSTRACT

Waning immunity following administration of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines remains a concern for many health systems. We undertook a study to determine if recent reports of waning for severe disease could have been attributed to design-related bias by conducting a study only among those detected with a first SARS-CoV-2 infection. We used a matched case-control study design with the study base being all individuals with first infection with SARS-CoV-2 reported in the State of Qatar between 1 January 2021 and 20 February 2022. Cases were those detected with first SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring intensive care (hard outcome), while controls were those detected with first SARS-CoV-2 infection who recovered without the need for intensive care. Cases and controls were matched in a 1:30 ratio for the calendar month of infection and the comorbidity category. Duration and magnitude of conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care and the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one more case of COVID-19 requiring intensive care was estimated for the mRNA (BNT162b2/mRNA-1273) vaccines. Conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care was 59% (95% confidence interval (CI), 50 to 76) between the first and second dose, and strengthened to 89% (95% CI, 85 to 92) between the second dose and 4 months post the second dose in persons who received a primary course of the vaccine. There was no waning of vaccine effectiveness in the period from 4 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9 to 12 months after the second dose. This study demonstrates that, contrary to mainstream reports using hierarchical measures of effectiveness, conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care remains robust till at least 12 months after the second dose of mRNA-based vaccines.

6.
Environ Technol Innov ; 27: 102775, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907017

ABSTRACT

The apparent uncertainty associated with shedding patterns, environmental impacts, and sample processing strategies have greatly influenced the variability of SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in wastewater. This study evaluates the use of a new normalization approach using human RNase P for the logic estimation of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in wastewater. SARS-CoV-2 variants outbreak was monitored during the circulating wave between February and August 2021. Sewage samples were collected from five major wastewater treatment plants and subsequently analyzed to determine the viral loads in the wastewater. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in all the samples where the wastewater Ct values exhibited a similar trend as the reported number of new daily positive cases in the country. The infected population number was estimated using a mathematical model that compensated for RNA decay due to wastewater temperature and sewer residence time, and which indicated that the number of positive cases circulating in the population declined from 765,729 ± 142,080 to 2,303 ± 464 during the sampling period. Genomic analyses of SARS-CoV-2 of thirty wastewater samples collected between March 2021 and April 2021 revealed that alpha (B.1.1.7) and beta (B.1.351) were among the dominant variants of concern (VOC) in Qatar. The findings of this study imply that the normalization of data allows a more realistic assessment of incidence trends within the population.

7.
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
8.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886383

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are limited data assessing COVID-19 disease severity in children/adolescents infected with the Omicron variant. METHODS: We identified children and adolescents <18 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta and propensity-score matched controls with Omicron variant infection from the National COVID-19 Database in Qatar. Primary outcome was disease severity, determined by hospital admission, admission to ICU, or mechanical ventilation within 14 days of diagnosis, or death within 28 days. RESULTS: Among 1,735 cases with Delta variant infection between June 1 and November 6, 2021 and 32 635 cases with Omicron variant infection between January 1 and January 15, 2022 who did not have prior infection and were not vaccinated, we identified 985 propensity-score matched pairs. Among Delta infected, 84.2% had mild, 15.7% had moderate, and 0.1% had severe/critical disease. Among Omicron infected, 97.8% had mild, 2.2% had moderate, and none had severe/critical disease (P < .001). Omicron variant infection (vs. Delta) was associated with significantly lower odds of moderate or severe/critical disease (adjusted odds ratio, 0.12; 95% CI 0.07-0.18). Those aged 6-11, and 12-<18 years had lower odds of developing moderate or severe/critical disease compared with those younger than six years (aOR, 95% CI 0.47; 0.33-0.66 for 6-11 year old; aOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21-0.94 for 12-<18 years old). CONCLUSIONS: Omicron variant infection in children/adolescents is associated with less severe disease than Delta variant infection as measured by hospitalization rates and need for ICU care or mechanical ventilation. Those 6 to <18 years also have less severe disease than those <6 years old.

9.
J Travel Med ; 2022 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873966

ABSTRACT

Compared to BA.1, BA.2 was associated with lower RT-qPCR cycle threshold (Ct) value-3.53 fewer cycles (95% CI: 3.46-3.60), signifying higher infectiousness. This may reflect higher viral load and/or longer duration of infection for BA.2. Natural immunity from previous infection and booster vaccination were associated with less infectious breakthrough infections.

10.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3082, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873502

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants are genetically divergent. We conducted a matched, test-negative, case-control study to estimate duration of protection of the second and third/booster doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against BA.1 and BA.2 infections in Qatar. BNT162b2 effectiveness was highest at 46.6% (95% CI: 33.4-57.2%) against symptomatic BA.1 and at 51.7% (95% CI: 43.2-58.9%) against symptomatic BA.2 infections in the first three months after the second dose, but declined to ~10% or below thereafter. Effectiveness rebounded to 59.9% (95% CI: 51.2-67.0%) and 43.7% (95% CI: 36.5-50.0%), respectively, in the first month after the booster dose, before declining again. Effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization and death was 70-80% after the second dose and >90% after the booster dose. mRNA-1273 vaccine protection showed similar patterns. mRNA vaccines provide comparable, moderate, and short-lived protection against symptomatic BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron infections, but strong and durable protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
11.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336237

ABSTRACT

Effectiveness of sotrovimab against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 was investigated in Qatar using a case-control study design at a time when BA.2 Omicron subvariant dominated incidence. Adjusted odds ratio of progression to severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19, comparing those sotrovimab-treated to those untreated, was 2.67-fold higher (95% CI: 0.60-11.91).

12.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336165

ABSTRACT

A number of studies reported that influenza vaccination is associated with lower risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and/or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) morbidity and mortality. We conducted a matched, test-negative, case-control study to estimate effectiveness of influenza vaccination, using Abbott’s quadrivalent Influvac Tetra vaccine, against SARS-CoV-2 infection and against severe COVID-19. The study was implemented on a population of 30,774 healthcare workers (HCWs) in Qatar during the 2020 annual influenza vaccination campaign, between September 17, 2020 and December 31, 2020, before introduction of COVID-19 vaccination. The median age in the matched samples was 36 years (interquartile range (IQR), 32-44) for cases and 35 years (IQR, 32-42) for controls. The median duration between influenza vaccination and the PCR test was 43 days (IQR, 29-62). The estimated effectiveness of influenza vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection >14 days after receiving the vaccine was 29.7% (95% CI: 5.5-47.7%). The estimated effectiveness of influenza vaccination against any severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 was 88.9% (95% CI: 4.1-98.7%). Sensitivity analyses confirmed main analysis results. Recent influenza vaccination is associated with an appreciable reduction in the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity.

13.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334155

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Waning immunity following administration of mRNA based COVID-19 vaccines remains a concern for many health systems. We undertook a study of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with and without requirement for intensive care to shed more light on the duration of vaccine effectiveness for protection against the need for intensive care. Methods We used a matched case-control study design with the study base being all individuals with first infection with SARS-CoV-2 reported in the State of Qatar between 1 Jan 2021 and 20 Feb 2022. Cases were those requiring intensive care while controls were those who recovered without need for intensive care. Vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care and number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one more case of COVID-19 requiring intensive care were computed for the mRNA (BNT162b2 / mRNA-1273) vaccines. Results Vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50 to 76) between the first and second dose and strengthened to 89% (95% CI, 85 to 92) between the second dose and 4 months post the second dose in persons who received a primary course of the vaccine. There was no waning of vaccine effectiveness in the period from 4 to 12 months after the second dose. Conclusions This study demonstrates that vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care remains robust till at least 12 months after the second dose of mRNA based vaccines.

14.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330779

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Protection conferred by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection versus COVID-19 vaccination has not been investigated in rigorously controlled studies. We compared head-to-head protection conferred by natural infection to that from the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines in Qatar, between February 28, 2020 and March 6, 2022. METHODS Two national matched retrospective target-trial cohort studies were conducted to compare incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalization and death among those with a documented primary infection to incidence among those with a two-dose primary-series vaccination. Associations were estimated using Cox proportional-hazards regression models. RESULTS The overall adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) for infection was 0.46 (95% CI: 0.45-0.48) comparing those with a prior infection to those vaccinated with BNT162b2, and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.48-0.53) comparing those with a prior infection to those vaccinated with mRNA-1273. For BNT162b2, the AHR decreased gradually from 0.55 (95% CI: 0.46-0.65) in the fourth month after primary infection/vaccination to 0.31 (95% CI: 0.27-0.37) in the eighth month, while for mRNA-1273, it decreased from 0.80 (95% CI: 0.59-1.07) to 0.35 (95% CI: 0.29-0.41) over the same time period. During the Omicron wave, the AHR was ∼0.50 for BNT162b2 and ∼0.60 for mRNA-1273. The overall AHR for any severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 (against all variants) was 0.32 (95% CI: 0.10-1.00) for BNT162b2, and 0.58 (95% CI: 0.14-2.43) for mRNA-1273. CONCLUSIONS Natural infection was associated with stronger and more durable protection against infection, regardless of the variant, than mRNA primary-series vaccination. Nonetheless, vaccination remains the safest and optimal tool of protection against infection and COVID-19 hospitalization and death.

15.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Protection offered by five different forms of immunity, combining natural and vaccine immunity, was investigated against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron symptomatic BA.1 infection, symptomatic BA.2 infection, BA.1 hospitalization and death, and BA.2 hospitalization and death, in Qatar, between December 23, 2021 and February 21, 2022. METHODS: Six national, matched, test-negative case-control studies were conducted to estimate effectiveness of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine, mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine, natural immunity due to prior infection with pre-Omicron variants, and hybrid immunity from prior infection and vaccination. RESULTS: Effectiveness of only prior infection against symptomatic BA.2 infection was 46.1% (95% CI: 39.5-51.9%). Effectiveness of only two-dose BNT162b2 vaccination was negligible at -1.1% (95% CI: -7.1-4.6), but nearly all individuals had received their second dose several months earlier. Effectiveness of only three-dose BNT162b2 vaccination was 52.2% (95% CI: 48.1-55.9%). Effectiveness of hybrid immunity of prior infection and two-dose BNT162b2 vaccination was 55.1% (95% CI: 50.9-58.9%). Effectiveness of hybrid immunity of prior infection and three-dose BNT162b2 vaccination was 77.3% (95% CI: 72.4-81.4%). Meanwhile, prior infection, BNT162b2 vaccination, and hybrid immunity all showed strong effectiveness >70% against any severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 due to BA.2 infection. Similar levels and patterns of effectiveness were observed for BA.1 and for the mRNA-1273 vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: There are no discernable differences in the effects of prior infection, vaccination, and hybrid immunity against BA.1 versus BA.2. Hybrid immunity resulting from prior infection and recent booster vaccination confers the strongest protection against either subvariant. Vaccination enhances protection of those with a prior infection.

16.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330103

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has two subvariants, BA.1 and BA.2, that are genetically quite divergent. We conducted a matched, test-negative, case-control study to estimate duration of protection of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, after the second dose and after a third/booster dose, against BA.1 and BA.2 infections in Qatar’s population. BNT162b2 effectiveness against symptomatic BA.1 infection was highest at 46.6% (95% CI: 33.4-57.2%) in the first three months after the second dose, but then declined to ∼10% or below thereafter. Effectiveness rapidly rebounded to 59.9% (95% CI: 51.2-67.0%) in the first month after the booster dose, but then started to decline again. BNT162b2 effectiveness against symptomatic BA.2 infection was highest at 51.7% (95% CI: 43.2-58.9%) in the first three months after the second dose, but then declined to ∼10% or below thereafter. Effectiveness rapidly rebounded to 43.7% (95% CI: 36.5-50.0%) in the first month after the booster dose, but then declined again. Effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization and death was in the range of 70-80% any time after the second dose, and was greater than 90% after the booster dose. Similar patterns of protection were observed for the mRNA-1273 vaccine. mRNA vaccines provide only moderate and short-lived protection against symptomatic Omicron infections, with no discernable differences in protection against either the BA.1 or BA.2 subvariants. Vaccine protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death is strong and durable after the second dose, but is more robust after a booster dose.

17.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Qatar experienced a large SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) wave that started on December 19, 2021 and peaked in mid-January, 2022. We investigated effects of Omicron subvariant (BA.1 and BA.2), previous vaccination, and prior infection on infectiousness of Omicron infections, between December 23, 2021 and February 20, 2022. METHODS Univariable and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to estimate the association between the RT-qPCR cycle threshold (Ct) value of PCR tests (a proxy for SARS-CoV-2 infectiousness) and each of the Omicron subvariants, mRNA vaccination, prior infection, reason for RT-qPCR testing, calendar week of RT-qPCR testing (to account for phases of the rapidly evolving Omicron wave), and demographic factors. RESULTS Compared to BA.1, BA.2 was associated with 3.53 fewer cycles (95% CI: 3.46-3.60), signifying higher infectiousness. Ct value decreased with time since second and third vaccinations. Ct values were highest for those who received their boosters in the month preceding the RT-qPCR test—0.86 cycles (95% CI: 0.72-1.00) higher than for unvaccinated persons. Ct value was 1.30 (95% CI: 1.20-1.39) cycles higher for those with a prior infection compared to those without prior infection, signifying lower infectiousness. Ct value declined gradually with age. Ct value was lowest for those who were tested because of symptoms and was highest for those who were tested for travel-related purposes. Ct value was lowest during the exponential-growth phase of the Omicron wave and was highest after the wave peaked and was declining. CONCLUSIONS The BA.2 subvariant appears substantially more infectious than the BA.1 subvariant. This may reflect higher viral load and/or longer duration of infection, thereby explaining the rapid expansion of this subvariant in Qatar.

18.
N Engl J Med ; 386(19): 1804-1816, 2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waning of vaccine protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and the emergence of the omicron (or B.1.1.529) variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have led to expedited efforts to scale up booster vaccination. Protection conferred by booster doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines in Qatar, as compared with protection conferred by the two-dose primary series, is unclear. METHODS: We conducted two matched retrospective cohort studies to assess the effectiveness of booster vaccination, as compared with that of a two-dose primary series alone, against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19-related hospitalization and death during a large wave of omicron infections from December 19, 2021, through January 26, 2022. The association of booster status with infection was estimated with the use of Cox proportional-hazards regression models. RESULTS: In a population of 2,239,193 persons who had received at least two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccine, those who had also received a booster were matched with persons who had not received a booster. Among the BNT162b2-vaccinated persons, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic omicron infection was 2.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3 to 2.5) in the booster cohort and 4.5% (95% CI, 4.3 to 4.6) in the nonbooster cohort after 35 days of follow-up. Booster effectiveness against symptomatic omicron infection, as compared with that of the primary series, was 49.4% (95% CI, 47.1 to 51.6). Booster effectiveness against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death due to omicron infection, as compared with the primary series, was 76.5% (95% CI, 55.9 to 87.5). BNT162b2 booster effectiveness against symptomatic infection with the delta (or B.1.617.2) variant, as compared with the primary series, was 86.1% (95% CI, 67.3 to 94.1). Among the mRNA-1273-vaccinated persons, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic omicron infection was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.9 to 1.2) in the booster cohort and 1.9% (95% CI, 1.8 to 2.1) in the nonbooster cohort after 35 days; booster effectiveness against symptomatic omicron infection, as compared with the primary series, was 47.3% (95% CI, 40.7 to 53.3). Few severe Covid-19 cases were noted in the mRNA-1273-vaccinated cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The messenger RNA (mRNA) boosters were highly effective against symptomatic delta infection, but they were less effective against symptomatic omicron infection. However, with both variants, mRNA boosters led to strong protection against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Qatar/epidemiology , RNA, Messenger , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic
19.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329470

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has two main sub-lineages, BA.1 and BA.2 with significant genetic distance between them. This study investigated protection of infection with one sub-lineage against reinfection with the other sub-lineage in Qatar during a large BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron wave, from December 19, 2021 to February 21, 2022. METHODS Two national matched, retrospective cohort studies were conducted to estimate effectiveness of BA.1 infection against reinfection with BA.2 (N=20,197;BA.1-against-BA.2 study), and effectiveness of BA.2 infection against reinfection with BA.1 (N=100,925;BA.2-against-BA.1 study). Associations were estimated using Cox proportional-hazards regression models. RESULTS In the BA.1-against-BA.2 study, cumulative incidence of infection was estimated at 0.03% (95% CI: 0.01-0.07%) for the BA.1-infected cohort and at 0.62% (95% CI: 0.51-0.75%) for the uninfected-control cohort, 15 days after the start of follow-up. Effectiveness of BA.1 infection against reinfection with BA.2 was estimated at 94.9% (95% CI: 88.4-97.8%). In the BA.2-against-BA.1 study, cumulative incidence of infection was estimated at 0.03% (95% CI: 0.02-0.04%) for the BA.2-infected cohort and at 0.17% (95% CI: 0.15-0.21%) for the uninfected-control cohort, 15 days after the start of follow-up. Effectiveness of BA.2 infection against reinfection with BA.1 was estimated at 85.6% (95% CI: 77.4-90.9%). CONCLUSIONS Infection with an Omicron sub-lineage appears to induce strong, but not full protection against reinfection with the other sub-lineage, for at least several weeks after the initial infection.

20.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327514

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Qatar has been experiencing a large SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) wave that started on December 19, 2021. We assessed duration of protection of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines after second dose and after third/booster dose against symptomatic Omicron infection and against COVID-19 hospitalization and death, between December 23, 2021 and February 2, 2022. METHODS Vaccine effectiveness was estimated using the test-negative, case-control study design, applying the same methodology used earlier to assess waning of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 effectiveness in the same population during earlier infection waves. RESULTS BNT162b2 effectiveness against symptomatic Omicron infection was highest at 61.9% (95% CI: 49.9-71.1%) in the first month after the second dose, but then gradually declined and was at 10% or less starting from the 5 th month after the second dose. After the booster, effectiveness rapidly rebounded to peak at about 55% between 2-5 weeks after the booster, but then started to decline again thereafter. Effectiveness against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 was maintained at >70% after the second dose and at >90% after the booster with no evidence for declining effectiveness over time. mRNA-1273 effectiveness against symptomatic Omicron infection was highest at 44.8% (95% CI: 16.0-63.8%) in the first three months after the second dose, before gradually declining to negligible levels thereafter. After the booster, effectiveness rapidly rebounded to peak at about 55% between 2-5 weeks after the booster, but then declined again thereafter. Effectiveness against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 was high at >60% after the second dose and at >80% after the booster, but the confidence intervals were wide owing to the small number of cases. CONCLUSIONS BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines show a similar level and pattern of protection against symptomatic Omicron infection. Protection against Omicron is lower than that against Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants, and wanes more rapidly than against earlier variants after the second and booster doses. Meanwhile, protection against hospitalization and death appears robust and durable after both the second and booster doses.

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