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2.
Lancet ; 398(10318): 2209-2211, 2021 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1577737

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296519

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background A rapid increase in cases due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant in highly vaccinated populations has raised concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. Methods We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic disease caused by the Omicron and Delta variants in England. VE was calculated after primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses, and at 2+ weeks following a BNT162b2 booster. Results Between 27 November and 06 December 2021, 581 and 56,439 eligible Omicron and Delta cases respectively were identified. There were 130,867 eligible test-negative controls. There was no effect against Omicron from 15 weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, while VE after two BNT162b2 doses was 88.0% (95%CI: 65.9 to 95.8%) 2-9 weeks after dose 2, dropping to between 34 and 37% from 15 weeks post dose 2.From two weeks after a BNT162b2 booster, VE increased to 71.4% (95%CI: 41.8 to 86.0%) for ChAdOx1 primary course recipients and 75.5% (95%CI: 56.1 to 86.3%) for BNT162b2 primary course recipients. For cases with Delta, VE was 41.8% (95%CI: 39.4-44.1%) at 25+ weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, increasing to 93.8% (95%CI: 93.2-94.3%) after a BNT162b2 booster. With a BNT162b2 primary course, VE was 63.5% (95%CI: 61.4 to 65.5%) 25+ weeks after dose 2, increasing to 92.6% (95%CI: 92.0-93.1%) two weeks after the booster. Conclusions Primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses provided no or limited protection against symptomatic disease with the Omicron variant. Boosting with BNT162b2 following either primary course significantly increased protection.

4.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569708

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibacterial prescribing for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) accounts for almost half of all prescribing in primary care. Nearly a quarter of antibacterial prescribing in primary care is estimated to be inappropriate, the greatest being for RTIs. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the provision of healthcare services and impacted the levels of antibacterials prescribed. OBJECTIVES: To describe the changes in community antibacterial prescribing for RTIs in winter 2020-21 in England. METHODS: RTI antibacterial prescribing was measured in prescription items/1000 population for primary care from January 2014 and in DDDs/1000 population/day for the totality of RTI prescribing [combined with Accident & Emergency (A&E) in secondary care], from January 2016 to February 2021. Trends were assessed using negative binomial regression and seasonally adjusted interrupted time-series analysis. RESULTS: Antibacterials prescribed for RTIs reduced by a further 12.4% per season compared with pre-COVID (P < 0.001). In winter 2020-21, RTI prescriptions almost halved compared with the previous winter in 2019-20 (P < 0.001). The trend observed for total RTI prescribing (primary care with A&E) was similar to that observed in the community alone. CONCLUSIONS: During COVID-19, RTI prescribing reduced in the community and the expected rise in winter was not seen in 2020-21. We found no evidence that RTI prescribing shifted from primary care to A&E in secondary care. The most likely explanation is a decrease in RTIs and presentations to primary care associated with national prevention measures for COVID-19.

6.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 13: 100282, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559972

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, with emerging variants and fluctuating control policies. Real-time population screening and identification of groups in whom positivity is highest could help monitor spread and inform public health messaging and strategy. Methods: To develop a real-time screening process, we included results from nose and throat swabs and questionnaires taken 19 July 2020-17 July 2021 in the UK's national COVID-19 Infection Survey. Fortnightly, associations between SARS-CoV-2 positivity and 60 demographic and behavioural characteristics were estimated using logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders, considering multiple testing, collinearity, and reverse causality. Findings: Of 4,091,537 RT-PCR results from 482,677 individuals, 29,903 (0·73%) were positive. As positivity rose September-November 2020, rates were independently higher in younger ages, and those living in Northern England, major urban conurbations, more deprived areas, and larger households. Rates were also higher in those returning from abroad, and working in healthcare or outside of home. When positivity peaked December 2020-January 2021 (Alpha), high positivity shifted to southern geographical regions. With national vaccine roll-out from December 2020, positivity reduced in vaccinated individuals. Associations attenuated as rates decreased between February-May 2021. Rising positivity rates in June-July 2021 (Delta) were independently higher in younger, male, and unvaccinated groups. Few factors were consistently associated with positivity. 25/45 (56%) confirmed associations would have been detected later using 28-day rather than 14-day periods. Interpretation: Population-level demographic and behavioural surveillance can be a valuable tool in identifying the varying characteristics driving current SARS-CoV-2 positivity, allowing monitoring to inform public health policy. Funding: Department of Health and Social Care (UK), Welsh Government, Department of Health (on behalf of the Northern Ireland Government), Scottish Government, National Institute for Health Research.

7.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293307

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the duration and effectiveness of infection and vaccine-acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity is essential to inform pandemic policy interventions, including the timing of vaccine-boosters. We investigated this in our large prospective cohort of UK healthcare workers undergoing routine asymptomatic PCR testing. Methods We assessed vaccine effectiveness (VE) (up to 10-months after first dose) and infection-acquired immunity by comparing time to PCR-confirmed infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals using a Cox regression-model, adjusted by prior SARS-CoV-2 infection status, vaccine-manufacturer/dosing-interval, demographics and workplace exposures. Results Of 35,768 participants, 27% (n=9,488) had a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccine coverage was high: 97% had two-doses (79% BNT162b2 long-interval, 8% BNT162b2 short-interval, 8% ChAdOx1). There were 2,747 primary infections and 210 reinfections between 07/12/2020 and 21/09/2021. Adjusted VE (aVE) decreased from 81% (95% CI 68%-89%) 14-73 days after dose-2 to 46% (95% CI 22%-63%) >6-months;with no significant difference for short-interval BNT162b2 but significantly lower aVE (50% (95% CI 18%-70%) 14-73 days after dose-2 from ChAdOx1. Protection from infection-acquired immunity showed evidence of waning in unvaccinated follow-up but remained consistently over 90% in those who received two doses of vaccine, even in those infected over 15-months ago. Conclusion Two doses of BNT162b2 vaccination induce high short-term protection to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which wanes significantly after six months. Infection-acquired immunity boosted with vaccination remains high over a year after infection. Boosters will be essential to maintain protection in vaccinees who have not had primary infection to reduce infection and transmission in this population. Trial registration number ISRCTN11041050

8.
Lancet Microbe ; 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510521

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. Methods: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. Findings: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

9.
Cell ; 184(23): 5699-5714.e11, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466093

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Priming/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
10.
Lancet ; 398(10307): 1217-1229, 2021 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428616

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: School-based COVID-19 contacts in England have been asked to self-isolate at home, missing key educational opportunities. We trialled daily testing of contacts as an alternative to assess whether this resulted in similar control of transmission, while allowing more school attendance. METHODS: We did an open-label, cluster-randomised, controlled trial in secondary schools and further education colleges in England. Schools were randomly assigned (1:1) to self-isolation of school-based COVID-19 contacts for 10 days (control) or to voluntary daily lateral flow device (LFD) testing for 7 days with LFD-negative contacts remaining at school (intervention). Randomisation was stratified according to school type and size, presence of a sixth form, presence of residential students, and proportion of students eligible for free school meals. Group assignment was not masked during procedures or analysis. Coprimary outcomes in all students and staff were COVID-19-related school absence and symptomatic PCR-confirmed COVID-19, adjusted for community case rates, to estimate within-school transmission (non-inferiority margin <50% relative increase). Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis using quasi-Poisson regression, also estimating complier average causal effects (CACE). This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN18100261. FINDINGS: Between March 18 and May 4, 2021, 204 schools were taken through the consent process, during which three decided not to participate further. 201 schools were randomly assigned (control group n=99, intervention group n=102) in the 10-week study (April 19-May 10, 2021), which continued until the pre-appointed stop date (June 27, 2021). 76 control group schools and 86 intervention group schools actively participated; additional national data allowed most non-participating schools to be included in analysis of coprimary outcomes. 2432 (42·4%) of 5763 intervention group contacts participated in daily contact testing. There were 657 symptomatic PCR-confirmed infections during 7 782 537 days-at-risk (59·1 per 100 000 per week) in the control group and 740 during 8 379 749 days-at-risk (61·8 per 100 000 per week) in the intervention group (intention-to-treat adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] 0·96 [95% CI 0·75-1·22]; p=0·72; CACE aIRR 0·86 [0·55-1·34]). Among students and staff, there were 59 422 (1·62%) COVID-19-related absences during 3 659 017 person-school-days in the control group and 51 541 (1·34%) during 3 845 208 person-school-days in the intervention group (intention-to-treat aIRR 0·80 [95% CI 0·54-1·19]; p=0·27; CACE aIRR 0·61 [0·30-1·23]). INTERPRETATION: Daily contact testing of school-based contacts was non-inferior to self-isolation for control of COVID-19 transmission, with similar rates of symptomatic infections among students and staff with both approaches. Infection rates in school-based contacts were low, with very few school contacts testing positive. Daily contact testing should be considered for implementation as a safe alternative to home isolation following school-based exposures. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Quarantine/methods , Schools , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Child , Educational Personnel , England , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
11.
J Infect ; 83(5): 565-572, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377763

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Nosocomial transmission was an important aspect of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV outbreaks. Healthcare-associated SARS-CoV-2 infection has been reported in single and multi-site hospital-based studies in England, but not nationally. METHODS: Admission records for all hospitals in England were linked to SARS-CoV-2 national test data for the period 01/03/2020 to 31/08/2020. Case definitions were: community-onset community-acquired, first positive test <14 days pre-admission, up to day 2 of admission; hospital-onset indeterminate healthcare-associated, first positive on day 3-7; hospital-onset probable healthcare-associated, first positive on day 8-14; hospital-onset definite healthcare-associated, first positive from day 15 of admission until discharge; community-onset possible healthcare-associated, first positive test ≤14 days post-discharge. RESULTS: One-third (34.4%, 100,859/293,204) of all laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases were linked to a hospital record. Hospital-onset probable and definite cases represented 5.3% (15,564/293,204) of all laboratory-confirmed cases and 15.4% (15,564/100,859) of laboratory-confirmed cases among hospital patients. Community-onset community-acquired and community-onset possible healthcare-associated cases represented 86.5% (253,582/293,204) and 5.1% (14,913/293,204) of all laboratory-confirmed cases, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Up to 1 in 6 SARS-CoV-2 infections among hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in England during the first 6 months of the pandemic could be attributed to nosocomial transmission, but these represent less than 1% of the estimated 3 million COVID-19 cases in this period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aftercare , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Information Storage and Retrieval , Patient Discharge , SARS-CoV-2
12.
N Engl J Med ; 385(7): 585-594, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), has contributed to a surge in cases in India and has now been detected across the globe, including a notable increase in cases in the United Kingdom. The effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccines against this variant has been unclear. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination against symptomatic disease caused by the delta variant or the predominant strain (B.1.1.7, or alpha variant) over the period that the delta variant began circulating. Variants were identified with the use of sequencing and on the basis of the spike (S) gene status. Data on all symptomatic sequenced cases of Covid-19 in England were used to estimate the proportion of cases with either variant according to the patients' vaccination status. RESULTS: Effectiveness after one dose of vaccine (BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was notably lower among persons with the delta variant (30.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.2 to 35.7) than among those with the alpha variant (48.7%; 95% CI, 45.5 to 51.7); the results were similar for both vaccines. With the BNT162b2 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 93.7% (95% CI, 91.6 to 95.3) among persons with the alpha variant and 88.0% (95% CI, 85.3 to 90.1) among those with the delta variant. With the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 74.5% (95% CI, 68.4 to 79.4) among persons with the alpha variant and 67.0% (95% CI, 61.3 to 71.8) among those with the delta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose. This finding would support efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations. (Funded by Public Health England.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult
13.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(7)2021 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308289

ABSTRACT

Changes in antibacterial prescribing during the COVID-19 pandemic were anticipated given that the clinical features of severe respiratory infection syndrome caused by SARS-CoV-2 mirror bacterial respiratory tract infections. Antibacterial consumption was measured in items/1000 population for primary care and in Defined Daily Doses (DDDs)/1000 admissions for secondary care in England from 2015 to October 2020. Interrupted time-series analyses were conducted to evaluate the effects of the pandemic on antibacterial consumption. In the community, the rate of antibacterial items prescribed decreased further in 2020 (by an extra 1.4% per month, 95% CI: -2.3 to -0.5) compared to before COVID-19. In hospitals, the volume of antibacterial use decreased during COVID-19 overall (-12.1% compared to pre-COVID, 95% CI: -19.1 to -4.4), although the rate of usage in hospitals increased steeply in April 2020. Use of antibacterials prescribed for respiratory infections and broad-spectrum antibacterials (predominately 'Watch' antibacterials in hospitals) increased in both settings. Overall volumes of antibacterial use at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic decreased in both primary and secondary settings, although there were increases in the rate of usage in hospitals in April 2020 and in specific antibacterials. This highlights the importance of antimicrobial stewardship during pandemics to ensure appropriate prescribing and avoid negative consequences on patient outcomes and antimicrobial resistance.

14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Natural and vaccine-induced immunity will play a key role in controlling the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 variants have the potential to evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity. METHODS: In a longitudinal cohort study of healthcare workers (HCWs) in Oxfordshire, UK, we investigated the protection from symptomatic and asymptomatic PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection conferred by vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2, Oxford-AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCOV-19) and prior infection (determined using anti-spike antibody status), using Poisson regression adjusted for age, sex, temporal changes in incidence and role. We estimated protection conferred after one versus two vaccinations and from infections with the B.1.1.7 variant identified using whole genome sequencing. RESULTS: 13,109 HCWs participated; 8285 received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (1407 two doses) and 2738 the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (49 two doses). Compared to unvaccinated seronegative HCWs, natural immunity and two vaccination doses provided similar protection against symptomatic infection: no HCW vaccinated twice had symptomatic infection, and incidence was 98% lower in seropositive HCWs (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.02 [95%CI <0.01-0.18]). Two vaccine doses or seropositivity reduced the incidence of any PCR-positive result with or without symptoms by 90% (0.10 [0.02-0.38]) and 85% (0.15 [0.08-0.26]) respectively. Single-dose vaccination reduced the incidence of symptomatic infection by 67% (0.33 [0.21-0.52]) and any PCR-positive result by 64% (0.36 [0.26-0.50]). There was no evidence of differences in immunity induced by natural infection and vaccination for infections with S-gene target failure and B.1.1.7. CONCLUSION: Natural infection resulting in detectable anti-spike antibodies and two vaccine doses both provide robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, including against the B.1.1.7 variant.

15.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(3): e129-e142, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284651

ABSTRACT

Background: Outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have occurred in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) worldwide, but the reasons why some facilities are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks are poorly understood. We aimed to identify factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and outbreaks among staff and residents in LTCFs. Methods: We did a national cross-sectional survey of all LTCFs providing dementia care or care to adults aged 65 years or older in England between May 26 and June 19, 2020. The survey collected data from managers of eligible LTCFs on LTCF characteristics, staffing factors, the use of disease control measures, and the number of confirmed cases of infection among staff and residents in each LTCF. Survey responses were linked to individual-level SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results obtained through the national testing programme in England between April 30 and June 13, 2020. The primary outcome was the weighted period prevalence of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents and staff reported via the survey. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with infection in staff and residents, an outbreak (defined as at least one case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a resident or staff member), and a large outbreak (defined as LTCFs with more than a third of the total number of residents and staff combined testing positive, or with >20 residents and staff combined testing positive) using data from the survey and from the linked survey-test dataset. Findings: 9081 eligible wLTCFs were identified, of which 5126 (56·4%) participated in the survey, providing data on 160 033 residents and 248 594 staff members. The weighted period prevalence of infection was 10·5% (95% CI 9·9-11·1) in residents and 3·8% (3·4-4·2) in staff members. 2724 (53·1%) LTCFs reported outbreaks, and 469 (9·1%) LTCFs reported large outbreaks. The odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection in residents (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·80 [95% CI 0·75-0·86], p<0·0001) and staff (0·70 [0·65-0·77], p<0·0001), and of large outbreaks (0·59 [0·38-0·93], p=0·024) were significantly lower in LTCFs that paid staff statutory sick pay compared with those that did not. Each one unit increase in the staff-to-bed ratio was associated with a reduced odds of infection in residents (0·82 [0·78-0·87], p<0·0001) and staff (0·63 [0·59-0·68], p<0·0001. The odds of infection in residents (1·30 [1·23-1·37], p<0·0001) and staff (1·20 [1·13-1·29], p<0·0001), and of outbreaks (2·56 [1·94-3·49], p<0·0001) were significantly higher in LTCFs in which staff often or always cared for both infected or uninfected residents compared with those that cohorted staff with either infected or uninfected residents. Significantly increased odds of infection in residents (1·01 [1·01-1·01], p<0·0001) and staff (1·00 [1·00-1·01], p=0·0005), and of outbreaks (1·08 [1·05-1·10], p<0·0001) were associated with each one unit increase in the number of new admissions to the LTCF relative to baseline (March 1, 2020). The odds of infection in residents (1·19 [1·12-1·26], p<0·0001) and staff (1·19 [1·10-1·29], p<0·0001), and of large outbreaks (1·65 [1·07-2·54], p=0·024) were significantly higher in LTCFs that were for profit versus those that were not for profit. Frequent employment of agency nurses or carers was associated with a significantly increased odds of infection in residents (aOR 1·65 [1·56-1·74], p<0·0001) and staff (1·85 [1·72-1·98], p<0·0001), and of outbreaks (2·33 [1·72-3·16], p<0·0001) and large outbreaks (2·42 [1·67-3·51], p<0·0001) compared with no employment of agency nurses or carers. Compared with LTCFs that did not report difficulties in isolating residents, those that did had significantly higher odds of infection in residents (1·33 [1·28-1·38], p<0·0001) and staff (1·48 [1·41-1·56], p<0·0001), and of outbreaks (1·84 [1·48-2·30], p<0·0001) and large outbreaks (1·62 [1·24-2·11], p=0·0004). Interpretation: Half of LTCFs had no cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first wave of the pandemic. Reduced transmission from staff is associated with adequate sick pay, minimal use of agency staff, an increased staff-to-bed ratio, and staff cohorting with either infected or uninfected residents. Increased transmission from residents is associated with an increased number of new admissions to the facility and poor compliance with isolation procedures. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.

16.
BMJ Open ; 11(6): e046799, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276961

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There is an urgent need to idenfy treatments for COVID-19 that reduce illness duration and hospital admission in those at higher risk of a longer illness course and complications. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Platform Randomised trial of INterventions against COVID-19 In older peoPLE trial is an open-label, multiarm, prospective, adaptive platform, randomised clinical trial to evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19 in the community. A master protocol governs the addition of new interventions as they become available, as well as the inclusion and cessation of existing intervention arms via frequent interim analyses. The first three interventions are hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and doxycycline. Eligible participants must be symptomatic in the community with possible or confirmed COVID-19 that started in the preceding 14 days and either (1) aged 65 years and over or (2) aged 50-64 years with comorbidities. Recruitment is through general practice, health service helplines, COVID-19 'hot hubs' and directly through the trial website. Participants are randomised to receive either usual care or a study drug plus usual care, and outcomes are collected via daily online symptom diary for 28 days from randomisation. The research team contacts participants and/or their study partner following days 7, 14 and 28 if the online diary is not completed. The trial has two coprimary endpoints: time to first self-report of feeling recovered from possible COVID-19 and hospital admission or death from possible COVID-19 infection, both within 28 days from randomisation. Prespecified interim analyses assess efficacy or futility of interventions and to modify randomisation probabilities that allocate more participants to interventions with better outcomes. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval Ref: 20/SC/0158 South Central - Berkshire Research Ethics Committee; IRAS Project ID: 281958; EudraCT Number: 2020-001209-22. Results will be presented to policymakers and at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN86534580.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
17.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(5)2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223911

ABSTRACT

A minority of patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 have bacterial co-infection. Procalcitonin testing may help identify patients for whom antibiotics should be prescribed or withheld. This study describes the use of procalcitonin in English and Welsh hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A web-based survey of antimicrobial leads gathered data about the use of procalcitonin testing. Responses were received from 148/151 (98%) eligible hospitals. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was widespread introduction and expansion of PCT use in NHS hospitals. The number of hospitals using PCT in emergency/acute admissions rose from 17 (11%) to 74/146 (50.7%) and use in Intensive Care Units (ICU) increased from 70 (47.6%) to 124/147 (84.4%). This increase happened predominantly in March and April 2020, preceding NICE guidance. Approximately half of hospitals used PCT as a single test to guide decisions to discontinue antibiotics and half used repeated measurements. There was marked variation in the thresholds used for empiric antibiotic cessation and guidance about interpretation of values. Procalcitonin testing has been widely adopted in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic in an unevidenced, heterogeneous way and in conflict with relevant NICE guidance. Further research is needed urgently that assesses the impact of this change on antibiotic prescribing and patient safety.

18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: How SARS-CoV-2 infectivity varies with viral load is incompletely understood. Whether rapid point-of-care antigen lateral flow devices (LFDs) detect most potential transmission sources despite imperfect clinical sensitivity is unknown. METHODS: We combined SARS-CoV-2 testing and contact tracing data from England between 01-September-2020 and 28-February-2021. We used multivariable logistic regression to investigate relationships between PCR-confirmed infection in contacts of community-diagnosed cases and index case viral load, S gene target failure (proxy for B.1.1.7 infection), demographics, SARS-CoV-2 incidence, social deprivation, and contact event type. We used LFD performance to simulate the proportion of cases with a PCR-positive contact expected to be detected using one of four LFDs. RESULTS: 231,498/2,474,066(9%) contacts of 1,064,004 index cases tested PCR-positive. PCR-positive results in contacts independently increased with higher case viral loads (lower Ct values) e.g., 11.7%(95%CI 11.5-12.0%) at Ct=15 and 4.5%(4.4-4.6%) at Ct=30. B.1.1.7 infection increased PCR-positive results by ~50%, (e.g. 1.55-fold, 95%CI 1.49-1.61, at Ct=20). PCR-positive results were most common in household contacts (at Ct=20.1, 8.7%[95%CI 8.6-8.9%]), followed by household visitors (7.1%[6.8-7.3%]), contacts at events/activities (5.2%[4.9-5.4%]), work/education (4.6%[4.4-4.8%]), and least common after outdoor contact (2.9%[2.3-3.8%]). Contacts of children were the least likely to test positive, particularly following contact outdoors or at work/education. The most and least sensitive LFDs would detect 89.5%(89.4-89.6%) and 83.0%(82.8-83.1%) of cases with PCR-positive contacts respectively. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infectivity varies by case viral load, contact event type, and age. Those with high viral loads are the most infectious. B.1.1.7 increased transmission by ~50%. The best performing LFDs detect most infectious cases.

19.
Lancet ; 397(10286): 1725-1735, 2021 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201329

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 adenoviral vector vaccines have been rapidly rolled out in the UK from December, 2020. We aimed to determine the factors associated with vaccine coverage for both vaccines and documented the vaccine effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in a cohort of health-care workers undergoing regular asymptomatic testing. METHODS: The SIREN study is a prospective cohort study among staff (aged ≥18 years) working in publicly-funded hospitals in the UK. Participants were assigned into either the positive cohort (antibody positive or history of infection [indicated by previous positivity of antibody or PCR tests]) or the negative cohort (antibody negative with no previous positive test) at the beginning of the follow-up period. Baseline risk factors were collected at enrolment, symptom status was collected every 2 weeks, and vaccination status was collected through linkage to the National Immunisations Management System and questionnaires. Participants had fortnightly asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing and monthly antibody testing, and all tests (including symptomatic testing) outside SIREN were captured. Data cutoff for this analysis was Feb 5, 2021. The follow-up period was Dec 7, 2020, to Feb 5, 2021. The primary outcomes were vaccinated participants (binary ever vacinated variable; indicated by at least one vaccine dose recorded by at least one of the two vaccination data sources) for the vaccine coverage analysis and SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by a PCR test for the vaccine effectiveness analysis. We did a mixed-effect logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with vaccine coverage. We used a piecewise exponential hazard mixed-effects model (shared frailty-type model) using a Poisson distribution to calculate hazard ratios to compare time-to-infection in unvaccinated and vaccinated participants and estimate the impact of the BNT162b2 vaccine on all PCR-positive infections (asymptomatic and symptomatic). This study is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN11041050, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: 23 324 participants from 104 sites (all in England) met the inclusion criteria for this analysis and were enrolled. Included participants had a median age of 46·1 years (IQR 36·0-54·1) and 19 692 (84%) were female; 8203 (35%) were assigned to the positive cohort at the start of the analysis period, and 15 121 (65%) assigned to the negative cohort. Total follow-up time was 2 calendar months and 1 106 905 person-days (396 318 vaccinated and 710 587 unvaccinated). Vaccine coverage was 89% on Feb 5, 2021, 94% of whom had BNT162b2 vaccine. Significantly lower coverage was associated with previous infection, gender, age, ethnicity, job role, and Index of Multiple Deprivation score. During follow-up, there were 977 new infections in the unvaccinated cohort, an incidence density of 14 infections per 10 000 person-days; the vaccinated cohort had 71 new infections 21 days or more after their first dose (incidence density of eight infections per 10 000 person-days) and nine infections 7 days after the second dose (incidence density four infections per 10 000 person-days). In the unvaccinated cohort, 543 (56%) participants had typical COVID-19 symptoms and 140 (14%) were asymptomatic on or 14 days before their PCR positive test date, compared with 29 (36%) with typical COVID-19 symptoms and 15 (19%) asymptomatic in the vaccinated cohort. A single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine showed vaccine effectiveness of 70% (95% CI 55-85) 21 days after first dose and 85% (74-96) 7 days after two doses in the study population. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that the BNT162b2 vaccine can prevent both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection in working-age adults. This cohort was vaccinated when the dominant variant in circulation was B1.1.7 and shows effectiveness against this variant. FUNDING: Public Health England, UK Department of Health and Social Care, and the National Institute for Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Health Personnel , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Prospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
20.
Lancet ; 397(10283): 1459-1469, 2021 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased understanding of whether individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from future SARS-CoV-2 infection is an urgent requirement. We aimed to investigate whether antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were associated with a decreased risk of symptomatic and asymptomatic reinfection. METHODS: A large, multicentre, prospective cohort study was done, with participants recruited from publicly funded hospitals in all regions of England. All health-care workers, support staff, and administrative staff working at hospitals who could remain engaged in follow-up for 12 months were eligible to join The SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation study. Participants were excluded if they had no PCR tests after enrolment, enrolled after Dec 31, 2020, or had insufficient PCR and antibody data for cohort assignment. Participants attended regular SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody testing (every 2-4 weeks) and completed questionnaires every 2 weeks on symptoms and exposures. At enrolment, participants were assigned to either the positive cohort (antibody positive, or previous positive PCR or antibody test) or negative cohort (antibody negative, no previous positive PCR or antibody test). The primary outcome was a reinfection in the positive cohort or a primary infection in the negative cohort, determined by PCR tests. Potential reinfections were clinically reviewed and classified according to case definitions (confirmed, probable, or possible) and symptom-status, depending on the hierarchy of evidence. Primary infections in the negative cohort were defined as a first positive PCR test and seroconversions were excluded when not associated with a positive PCR test. A proportional hazards frailty model using a Poisson distribution was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR) to compare infection rates in the two cohorts. FINDINGS: From June 18, 2020, to Dec 31, 2020, 30 625 participants were enrolled into the study. 51 participants withdrew from the study, 4913 were excluded, and 25 661 participants (with linked data on antibody and PCR testing) were included in the analysis. Data were extracted from all sources on Feb 5, 2021, and include data up to and including Jan 11, 2021. 155 infections were detected in the baseline positive cohort of 8278 participants, collectively contributing 2 047 113 person-days of follow-up. This compares with 1704 new PCR positive infections in the negative cohort of 17 383 participants, contributing 2 971 436 person-days of follow-up. The incidence density was 7·6 reinfections per 100 000 person-days in the positive cohort, compared with 57·3 primary infections per 100 000 person-days in the negative cohort, between June, 2020, and January, 2021. The adjusted IRR was 0·159 for all reinfections (95% CI 0·13-0·19) compared with PCR-confirmed primary infections. The median interval between primary infection and reinfection was more than 200 days. INTERPRETATION: A previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with an 84% lower risk of infection, with median protective effect observed 7 months following primary infection. This time period is the minimum probable effect because seroconversions were not included. This study shows that previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces effective immunity to future infections in most individuals. FUNDING: Department of Health and Social Care of the UK Government, Public Health England, The National Institute for Health Research, with contributions from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , England , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Reinfection , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
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