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Sci Transl Med ; 15(683): eade6023, 2023 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2240695


The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages resulted in increased transmission rates and reduced protection from vaccines. To counteract these effects, multiple booster strategies were used in different countries, although data comparing their efficiency in improving protective immunity remain sparse, especially among vulnerable populations, including older adults. The inactivated CoronaVac vaccine was among the most widely distributed vaccine worldwide and was essential in the early control of SARS-CoV-2-related hospitalizations and deaths. However, it is not well understood whether homologous versus heterologous booster doses in those fully vaccinated with CoronaVac induce distinct humoral responses or whether these responses vary across age groups. We analyzed plasma antibody responses from CoronaVac-vaccinated younger or older individuals who received a homologous CoronaVac or heterologous BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 booster vaccine. All three evaluated boosters resulted in increased virus-specific IgG titers 28 days after the booster dose. However, we found that both IgG titers against SARS-CoV-2 Spike or RBD and neutralization titers against Omicron sublineages were substantially reduced in participants who received homologous CoronaVac compared with the heterologous BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 booster. This effect was specifically prominent in recipients >50 years of age. In this group, the CoronaVac booster induced low virus-specific IgG titers and failed to elevate neutralization titers against any Omicron sublineage. Our results point to the notable inefficiency of CoronaVac immunization and boosting in mounting protective antiviral humoral immunity, particularly among older adults, during the Omicron wave. These observations also point to benefits of heterologous regimens in high-risk populations fully vaccinated with CoronaVac.

Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , BNT162 Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral
Med (N Y) ; 3(5): 325-334.e4, 2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773641


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant became a global concern due to its rapid spread and displacement of the dominant Delta variant. We hypothesized that part of Omicron's rapid rise was based on its increased ability to cause infections in persons that are vaccinated compared to Delta. Methods: We analyzed nasal swab PCR tests for samples collected between December 12 and 16, 2021, in Connecticut when the proportion of Delta and Omicron variants was relatively equal. We used the spike gene target failure (SGTF) to classify probable Delta and Omicron infections. We fitted an exponential curve to the estimated infections to determine the doubling times for each variant. We compared the test positivity rates for each variant by vaccination status, number of doses, and vaccine manufacturer. Generalized linear models were used to assess factors associated with odds of infection with each variant among persons testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Findings: For infections with high virus copies (Ct < 30) among vaccinated persons, we found higher odds that they were infected with Omicron compared to Delta, and that the odds increased with increased number of vaccine doses. Compared to unvaccinated persons, we found significant reduction in Delta positivity rates after two (43.4%-49.1%) and three vaccine doses (81.1%), while we only found a significant reduction in Omicron positivity rates after three doses (62.3%). Conclusion: The rapid rise in Omicron infections was likely driven by Omicron's escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Funding: This work was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
Cell Rep Med ; 3(4): 100583, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735052


The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant rose to dominance in mid-2021, likely propelled by an estimated 40%-80% increased transmissibility over Alpha. To investigate if this ostensible difference in transmissibility is uniform across populations, we partner with public health programs from all six states in New England in the United States. We compare logistic growth rates during each variant's respective emergence period, finding that Delta emerged 1.37-2.63 times faster than Alpha (range across states). We compute variant-specific effective reproductive numbers, estimating that Delta is 63%-167% more transmissible than Alpha (range across states). Finally, we estimate that Delta infections generate on average 6.2 (95% CI 3.1-10.9) times more viral RNA copies per milliliter than Alpha infections during their respective emergence. Overall, our evidence suggests that Delta's enhanced transmissibility can be attributed to its innate ability to increase infectiousness, but its epidemiological dynamics may vary depending on underlying population attributes and sequencing data availability.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , New England/epidemiology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/genetics