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1.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22275317

ABSTRACT

Monitoring immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and its clinical efficacy over time in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) help to establish the optimal strategies to ensure adequate COVID-19 protection without compromising disease control offered by DMTs. Following our previous observations of the humoral response one month after two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (T1) in MS patients differently treated, here we present a cross-sectional and longitudinal follow-up analysis six months following vaccination (T2, n=662) and a month following the first booster (T3, n=185). Consistent with results at T1, humoral responses were decreased in MS patients treated with fingolimod and anti-CD20 therapies compared with untreated patients also at the time points considered here (T2 and T3). Interestingly, a strong upregulation one month after the booster was observed in patients under every DMTs analyzed, including those treated with fingolimod and anti-CD20 therapies. And although patients taking these latter therapies had a higher rate of COVID-19 infection five months after the first booster, only mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization were reported for all the DMTs analyzed here. Based on these findings we anticipate that additional vaccine booster shots will likely further improve immune responses and COVID-19 protection in MS patients treated with any DMT.

2.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20229237

ABSTRACT

ObjectiveThe aim of this was to assess the short-term impact of the pandemic on non-COVID-19 patients living in a one-million inhabitants area in Northern Italy (Bologna Metropolitan Area-BMA), analyzing time trends of Emergency Department (ED) visits, hospitalizations and mortality. MethodsWe conducted a retrospective observational study using data extracted from BMA healthcare informative systems. Weekly trends of ED visits, hospitalizations, in- and out-of-hospital, all-cause and cause-specific mortality between December 1st, 2019 to May 31st, 2020, were compared with those of the same period of the previous year, using Joinpoint regression models and incidence rate ratios. ResultsNon-COVID-19 ED visits and hospitalizations showed a stable trend until the first Italian case of COVID-19 has been recorded, on February 19th, 2020, when they dropped simultaneously. The reduction of ED visits was observed in all age groups and across all severity and diagnosis groups. In the lockdown period a significant increase was found in overall out-of-hospital mortality (43.2%) and cause-specific out-of-hospital mortality related to neoplasms (76.7%), endocrine, nutritional and metabolic (79.5%) as well as cardiovascular (32.7%) diseases. ConclusionsThe pandemic caused a sudden drop of ED visits and hospitalizations of non-COVID-19 patients during the lockdown period, and a concurrent increase in out-of-hospital mortality mainly driven by deaths for neoplasms, cardiovascular and endocrine diseases. The findings of this study might be useful to understand both the population reaction and the healthcare system response at the early phases of the pandemic in terms of reduced demand of care and systems capability in intercepting it.

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