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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338399

ABSTRACT

Background: New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are constantly discovered. Administration of COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, combined with applications of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), is often used to prevent outbreaks of emerging variants. Such outbreak dynamics are further complicated by the population's behavior and demographic composition. Hence, realistic simulations are needed to estimate the efficiency of proposed vaccination strategies in conjunction with NPIs. Methods: We developed an individual-based model of COVID-19 dynamics that considers age-dependent parameters such as contact matrices, probabilities of symptomatic and severe disease, and households' age distribution. As a case study, we simulate outbreak dynamics under the demographic compositions of two Israeli cities with different household sizes and age distributions. We compare two vaccination strategies: vaccinate individuals in a currently prioritized age group, or dynamically prioritize neighborhoods with a high estimated reproductive number. Total infections and hospitalizations are used to compare the efficiency of the vaccination strategies under the two demographic structures, in conjunction with different NPIs. Results: We demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccination strategies targeting highly infected localities and of NPIs actively detecting asymptomatic infections. We further show that there are different optimal vaccination strategies for each demographic composition of sub-populations, and that their application is superior to a uniformly applied strategy. Conclusion: Our study emphasizes the importance of tailoring vaccination strategies to subpopulations' infection rates and to the unique characteristics of their demographics (e.g., household size and age distributions). The presented simulation framework and our findings can help better design future responses against the following emerging variants.

2.
N Engl J Med ; 386(23): 2201-2212, 2022 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864786

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) provides natural immunity against reinfection. Recent studies have shown waning of the immunity provided by the BNT162b2 vaccine. The time course of natural and hybrid immunity is unknown. METHODS: Using the Israeli Ministry of Health database, we extracted data for August and September 2021, when the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant was predominant, on all persons who had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who had received coronavirus 2019 vaccine. We used Poisson regression with adjustment for confounding factors to compare the rates of infection as a function of time since the last immunity-conferring event. RESULTS: The number of cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection per 100,000 person-days at risk (adjusted rate) increased with the time that had elapsed since vaccination with BNT162b2 or since previous infection. Among unvaccinated persons who had recovered from infection, this rate increased from 10.5 among those who had been infected 4 to less than 6 months previously to 30.2 among those who had been infected 1 year or more previously. Among persons who had received a single dose of vaccine after previous infection, the adjusted rate was low (3.7) among those who had been vaccinated less than 2 months previously but increased to 11.6 among those who had been vaccinated at least 6 months previously. Among previously uninfected persons who had received two doses of vaccine, the adjusted rate increased from 21.1 among those who had been vaccinated less than 2 months previously to 88.9 among those who had been vaccinated at least 6 months previously. CONCLUSIONS: Among persons who had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 (regardless of whether they had received any dose of vaccine or whether they had received one dose before or after infection), protection against reinfection decreased as the time increased since the last immunity-conferring event; however, this protection was higher than that conferred after the same time had elapsed since receipt of a second dose of vaccine among previously uninfected persons. A single dose of vaccine after infection reinforced protection against reinfection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , /immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337625

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND The BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) 2-dose vaccine for children and the BNT162b2 3rd dose for adolescents were approved shortly before the Omicron outbreak in Israel. The effects of these vaccines on the rates of Omicron confirmed infection are not yet clear. METHODS We extracted data for the Omicron-dominated (sub-lineage BA.1) period December 26, 2021 through January 8, 2022. We compared rates of confirmed Covid-19 infection between children 5-10 years old 14-35 days after receiving the 2nd dose to an internal control group of children 3-7 days after receiving the 1st dose (when the vaccine is not yet effective). Similarly, we compared confirmed infection rates in adolescents 12-15 years old 14-60 days after receiving a booster dose to an internal control group of adolescents 3-7 days after receiving the booster dose. We used Poisson regression, adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status, calendar week, and exposure. RESULTS In the 5-10 age group, the estimated rate of confirmed infection was 2.3 fold (95% CI, 2.0 to 2.5) lower in the 2nd dose group than in the internal control group. In adolescents, the third dose decreased confirmed infection rates by 3.3-fold (95% CI, 2.8 to 4.0). CONCLUSIONS A recent 2-dose BNT162b2 vaccination in children and a recent booster dose in adolescents reduced the rate of confirmed infection compared to the respective internal control groups. Future studies are needed to assess the duration of this protection and protection against other outcomes such as PIMS and long-COVID.

4.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 11(1): 22, 2022 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808383

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic cast a dramatic spotlight on the use of data as a fundamental component of good decision-making. Evaluating and comparing alternative policies required information on concurrent infection rates and insightful analysis to project them into the future. Statisticians in Israel were involved in these processes early in the pandemic in some silos as an ad-hoc unorganized effort. Informal discussions within the statistical community culminated in a roundtable, organized by three past presidents of the Israel Statistical Association, and hosted by the Samuel Neaman Institute in April 2021. The meeting was designed to provide a forum for exchange of views on the profession's role during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more generally, on its influence in promoting evidence-based public policy. This paper builds on the insights and discussions that emerged during the roundtable meeting and presents a general framework, with recommendations, for involving statisticians and statistics in decision-making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Policy
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1971, 2022 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788288

ABSTRACT

Israel began administering a BNT162b2 booster dose to restore protection following the waning of the 2-dose vaccine. Biological studies have shown that a "fresh" booster dose leads to increased antibody levels compared to a fresh 2-dose vaccine, which may suggest increased effectiveness. To compare the real-world effectiveness of a fresh (up to 60 days) booster dose with that of a fresh 2-dose vaccine, we took advantage of a quasi-experimental study that compares populations that were eligible to receive the vaccine at different times due to age-dependent policies. Specifically, we compared the confirmed infection rates in adolescents aged 12-14 (215,653 individuals) who received the 2-dose vaccine and in adolescents aged 16-18 (103,454 individuals) who received the booster dose. Our analysis shows that the confirmed infection rate was lower by a factor of 3.7 (95% CI: 2.7 to 5.2) in the booster group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Israel , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(647): eabn9836, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784767

ABSTRACT

Israel was one of the first countries to administer mass vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Consequently, it was among the first countries to experience substantial breakthrough infections due to the waning of vaccine-induced immunity, which led to a resurgence of the epidemic. In response, Israel launched a booster campaign to mitigate the outbreak and was the first country to do so. Israel's success in curtailing the Delta resurgence while imposing only mild nonpharmaceutical interventions influenced the decision of many countries to initiate a booster campaign. By constructing a detailed mathematical model and calibrating it to the Israeli data, we extend the understanding of the impact of the booster campaign from the individual to the population level. We used the calibrated model to explore counterfactual scenarios in which the booster vaccination campaign is altered by changing the eligibility criteria or the start time of the campaign and to assess the direct and indirect effects in the different scenarios. The results point to the vast benefits of vaccinating younger age groups that are not at a high risk of developing severe disease but play an important role in transmission. We further show that, when the epidemic is exponentially growing, the success of the booster campaign is highly sensitive to the timing of its initiation. Hence, a rapid response is an important factor in reducing disease burden using booster vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
7.
N Engl J Med ; 386(18): 1712-1720, 2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774020

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On January 2, 2022, Israel began administering a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine to persons 60 years of age or older. Data are needed regarding the effect of the fourth dose on rates of confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). METHODS: Using the Israeli Ministry of Health database, we extracted data on 1,252,331 persons who were 60 years of age or older and eligible for the fourth dose during a period in which the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was predominant (January 10 through March 2, 2022). We estimated the rate of confirmed infection and severe Covid-19 as a function of time starting at 8 days after receipt of a fourth dose (four-dose groups) as compared with that among persons who had received only three doses (three-dose group) and among persons who had received a fourth dose 3 to 7 days earlier (internal control group). For the estimation of rates, we used quasi-Poisson regression with adjustment for age, sex, demographic group, and calendar day. RESULTS: The number of cases of severe Covid-19 per 100,000 person-days (unadjusted rate) was 1.5 in the aggregated four-dose groups, 3.9 in the three-dose group, and 4.2 in the internal control group. In the quasi-Poisson analysis, the adjusted rate of severe Covid-19 in the fourth week after receipt of the fourth dose was lower than that in the three-dose group by a factor of 3.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7 to 4.6) and was lower than that in the internal control group by a factor of 2.3 (95% CI, 1.7 to 3.3). Protection against severe illness did not wane during the 6 weeks after receipt of the fourth dose. The number of cases of confirmed infection per 100,000 person-days (unadjusted rate) was 177 in the aggregated four-dose groups, 361 in the three-dose group, and 388 in the internal control group. In the quasi-Poisson analysis, the adjusted rate of confirmed infection in the fourth week after receipt of the fourth dose was lower than that in the three-dose group by a factor of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.9 to 2.1) and was lower than that in the internal control group by a factor of 1.8 (95% CI, 1.7 to 1.9). However, this protection waned in later weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe Covid-19 were lower after a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine than after only three doses. Protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived, whereas protection against severe illness did not wane during the study period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Israel/epidemiology
8.
Am J Epidemiol ; 2022 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769122

ABSTRACT

Worldwide shortage of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection while the pandemic is still uncontrolled leads many states to the dilemma whether or not to vaccinate previously infected persons. Understanding the level of protection of previous infection compared to that of vaccination is important for policy making. We analyze an updated individual-level database of the entire population of Israel to assess the protection of both prior infection and vaccination in preventing subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization with COVID-19, severe disease, and death due to COVID-19. Outcome data were collected from December 20, 2020 up to March 20, 2021. Vaccination was highly protective with overall estimated effectiveness for documented infection of 94.5% (CI: [94.3, 94.7]); hospitalization 95.8% (CI: [95.2, 96.2]); severe illness 96.3% (CI: [95.7, 96.9]); and death 96.0% (CI: [94.9, 96.9]). Similarly, the overall estimated level of protection from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection for documented infection is 94.8% (CI: [94.4, 95.1]); hospitalization 94.1% (CI: [91.9, 95.7]); and severe illness 96.4% (CI: [92.5, 98.3]). Our results should be considered by policymakers when deciding whether or not to prioritize vaccination of previously-infected adults.

9.
Lancet ; 399(10328): 924-944, 2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768606

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Knowing whether COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness wanes is crucial for informing vaccine policy, such as the need for and timing of booster doses. We aimed to systematically review the evidence for the duration of protection of COVID-19 vaccines against various clinical outcomes, and to assess changes in the rates of breakthrough infection caused by the delta variant with increasing time since vaccination. METHODS: This study was designed as a systematic review and meta-regression. We did a systematic review of preprint and peer-reviewed published article databases from June 17, 2021, to Dec 2, 2021. Randomised controlled trials of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and observational studies of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness were eligible. Studies with vaccine efficacy or effectiveness estimates at discrete time intervals of people who had received full vaccination and that met predefined screening criteria underwent full-text review. We used random-effects meta-regression to estimate the average change in vaccine efficacy or effectiveness 1-6 months after full vaccination. FINDINGS: Of 13 744 studies screened, 310 underwent full-text review, and 18 studies were included (all studies were carried out before the omicron variant began to circulate widely). Risk of bias, established using the risk of bias 2 tool for randomised controlled trials or the risk of bias in non-randomised studies of interventions tool was low for three studies, moderate for eight studies, and serious for seven studies. We included 78 vaccine-specific vaccine efficacy or effectiveness evaluations (Pfizer-BioNTech-Comirnaty, n=38; Moderna-mRNA-1273, n=23; Janssen-Ad26.COV2.S, n=9; and AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria, n=8). On average, vaccine efficacy or effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased from 1 month to 6 months after full vaccination by 21·0 percentage points (95% CI 13·9-29·8) among people of all ages and 20·7 percentage points (10·2-36·6) among older people (as defined by each study, who were at least 50 years old). For symptomatic COVID-19 disease, vaccine efficacy or effectiveness decreased by 24·9 percentage points (95% CI 13·4-41·6) in people of all ages and 32·0 percentage points (11·0-69·0) in older people. For severe COVID-19 disease, vaccine efficacy or effectiveness decreased by 10·0 percentage points (95% CI 6·1-15·4) in people of all ages and 9·5 percentage points (5·7-14·6) in older people. Most (81%) vaccine efficacy or effectiveness estimates against severe disease remained greater than 70% over time. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 vaccine efficacy or effectiveness against severe disease remained high, although it did decrease somewhat by 6 months after full vaccination. By contrast, vaccine efficacy or effectiveness against infection and symptomatic disease decreased approximately 20-30 percentage points by 6 months. The decrease in vaccine efficacy or effectiveness is likely caused by, at least in part, waning immunity, although an effect of bias cannot be ruled out. Evaluating vaccine efficacy or effectiveness beyond 6 months will be crucial for updating COVID-19 vaccine policy. FUNDING: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Schedule , Immunization, Secondary , /therapeutic use , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Time Factors
10.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331080

ABSTRACT

An important , and often neglected, aspect of vaccine effectiveness is its impact on pathogen transmissibility, harboring major implications for public health policies. As viral load is a prominent factor affecting infectivity, its laboratory surrogate, qRT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct), can be used to investigate the infectivity-related component of vaccine effectiveness. While vaccine waning has previously been observed for viral load, during the Delta wave, it is yet unknown how Omicron viral load is affected by vaccination status, and whether vaccine-derived and natural infection protection are sustainable. By analyzing results of more than 460,000 individuals we show that while recent vaccination reduces Omicron viral load, its effect wanes rapidly. In contrast, a significantly slower waning rate is demonstrated for recovered COVID-19 individuals. Thus, while the vaccine is effective in decreasing morbidity and mortality, their relative minute effect on transmissibility and rapid waning call for reassessment of the scientific justification for "vaccine certificate", as it may promote false reassurance and promiscuous behavior.

11.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327341

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND On January 2, 2022, Israel began administering a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to people aged over 60 years and at-risk populations, who had received a third dose of vaccine at least 4 months earlier. The effect of the fourth dose on confirmed coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) and severe illness are still unclear. METHODS We extracted data for the Omicron-dominated period January 15 through January 27, 2022, from the Israeli Ministry of Health database regarding 1,138,681 persons aged over 60 years and eligible for the fourth dose. We compared the rate of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness between those who had received a fourth dose at least 12 days earlier, those who had received only three doses, and those 3 to 7 days after receiving the fourth dose. We used Poisson regression after adjusting for possible confounding factors. RESULTS The rate of confirmed infection was lower in people 12 or more days after their fourth dose than among those who received only three doses and those 3 to 7 days after vaccination by factors of 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0 to 2.1) and 1.9 (95% CI, 1.8 to 2.0), respectively. The rate of severe illness was lower by factors of 4.3 (95% CI, 2.4 to 7.6) and 4.0 (95% CI, 2.2 to 7.5). CONCLUSIONS Rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were lower following a fourth dose compared to only three doses.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319934

ABSTRACT

Background: BNT162b2 was shown to be 92% effective in preventing COVID-19. Prioritizing vaccine rollout, and achievement of herd immunity depend on SARS-CoV-2 transmission reduction. The vaccine’s effect on infectivity is thus a critical priority.Methods: In a cohort of all 9650 HCW of a large single tertiary medical center, we calculated the prevalence of positive SAR-CoV-2 qRT-PCR cases with an asymptomatic presentation, tested following known or presumed exposure and the infectious subset (N-gene-Ct-value<30) of these and the prevalence of never-symptomatic infections. Additionally, infection incidence rates were calculated for symptomatic cases and infectious (Ct<30) cases. Vaccine effectiveness within three months of vaccine rollout was measured as one minus the relative risk or rate ratio, respectively. To further assess infectiousness, we compared the mean Ct-value and the proportion of infections with a positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen test of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. The correlation between IgG levels within the week before detection and Ct level was assessed.Findings: Reduced prevalence among fully vaccinated HCW was observed for (i) infections detected due to exposure, with asymptomatic presentation (VE(i)=65.1%, 95%CI 45-79%), (ii) the presumed infectious (Ct<30) subset of these (VE(ii)=69.6%, 95%CI 43-84%) (iii) never-symptomatic infections (VE(iii)=72.3%, 95%CI 48-86%), and (iv) the presumed infectious (Ct<30) subset (VE(iv)=83.0%, 95%CI 51-94%).Incidence of (v) symptomatic and (vi) symptomatic-infectious cases was significantly lower among fully vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals (VE(v)= 89.7%, 95%CI 84-94%, VE(vi)=88.1%, 95%CI 80-95%).The mean Ct-value was significantly higher in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated (27.3±1.2 vs. 22.2±1.0, p<0.001) and the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests was also significantly lower among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated PCR-positive HCW (80% vs. 31%, p<0.001). Lower infectivity was correlated with higher IgG concentrations (R=0.36, p=0.01).Interpretation: These results suggest that BNT162b2 is moderately to highly effective in reducing infectivity, via preventing infection and through reducing viral shedding. Funding: Sheba Medical Center, IsraelDeclaration of Interest: All authors declare they have no competing interestsEthical Approval: The Sheba Ethical committee, reviewed the protocol and approved thestudy.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309082

ABSTRACT

Testing individuals for the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is crucial for curtailing transmission chains. Moreover, rapidly testing many potentially infected individuals is often a limiting factor in controlling COVID-19 outbreaks. Hence, pooling strategies, wherein individuals are grouped and tested simultaneously, are employed. We present a novel pooling strategy that implements D-Optimal Pooling Experimental design (DOPE). DOPE defines optimal pooled tests as those maximizing the mutual information between data and infection states. We estimate said mutual information via Monte-Carlo sampling and employ a discrete optimization heuristic for maximizing it. DOPE outperforms common pooling strategies both in terms of lower error rates and fewer tests utilized. DOPE holds several additional advantages: it provides posterior distributions of the probability of infection, rather than only binary classification outcomes;it naturally incorporates prior information of infection probabilities and test error rates;and finally, it can be easily extended to include other, newly discovered information regarding COVID-19. Hence, we believe that implementation of Bayesian D-optimal experimental design holds a great promise for the efforts of combating COVID-19 and other future pandemics.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315142

ABSTRACT

Background: The immunogenicity and safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) are unknown. We thus aimed to assess the immunogenicity and safety of this vaccine in PLWH.Methods: In this prospective open study, we enrolled 143 PLWH, aged ³18 years, who attended our clinic. Patients who had recovered from COVID-19 were excluded. SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG and neutralizing antibodies were measured and compared to those in a cohort of vaccinated health care workers (HCWs). Adverse events, viral load and CD4 cell counts were monitored.Findings: At a median of 15 (IQR 14-19) days following the first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine and 18 (IQR 14-21) days after the second dose, anti-RBD IgG was positive in 66/128 (51%) and 139/141 (98%) PLWH, respectively. Among the HCWs, 235/399 (59%) and 269/272 (99%) developed anti-RBD IgG at a median of 14 (IQR 14-14) and 26 (IQR 24-27) days after first and second doses, respectively. Following the second dose, immune sera neutralized SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus (psSARS-2) in 97% and 98% of PLWH and HCW, respectively. Vaccination was associated with adverse events in 60% of PLWH, mainly pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. AIDS-related adverse events were not reported. HIV viral load increased in 3/143 (2%) patients from < 40 copies/mL to ≤ 100 copies/mL. CD4+ T cell count decreased from a geometric mean of 700 (95% CI 648–757) cells/mm3 to 633.8 (95% CI 588–683) cells/mm 3 (P<0.01). Interpretation: This study on BNT162b2 vaccination in PLWH revealed a high antibody response without detrimental effect on viral load. A small decline in CD4 cell count was noted, but it was not accompanied by clinical deterioration. This study thus provides support for the immunization of PLWH against COVID-19 with the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.Funding Statement: None.Declaration of Interests: None.Ethics Approval Statement: Written informed consent was obtained from all participants and the study protocol and informed consent were approved by the Institutional review board of Sheba Medical Center.

15.
Int J Epidemiol ; 51(3): 709-717, 2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662123

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data suggest lower coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccination coverage among minority and disadvantaged groups. We aimed to identify interactions between sociodemographic factors associated with vaccination gaps. METHODS: This population study used Israeli National COVID-19 data (extracted: 10 May 2021). The analysis comprised 6 478 999 individuals age ≥15 years with aggregated area-level data on sex and age distribution and no COVID-19 history. We estimated vaccination hazard and cumulative incidence using the Fine and Gray competing risk model. RESULTS: Older age and higher socioeconomic status (SES) were associated, with stepwise higher cumulative vaccination rates (age 20-24: 67%, age ≥ 75: 96%; SES 1-3: 61%, 4-5: 74.2%, 6-7: 82%, 8-10: 87%). We found the lowest vaccination rates in Arab (65%) and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish (54%) areas. SES modified the association in Arab neighbourhoods, with higher coverage than in the non-Orthodox Jewish reference group in SES 1-3 [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.06; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-1.11], and gradually lower coverage in higher SES classes (SES 6-7: HR = 0.83; 95% CI: 0.79-0.87). Vaccination rates were also higher among younger Arabs (≤45 years) compared with age counterparts in the reference population group (age 25-34: HR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.12-1.28) and lower than the reference group among Arabs age ≥45 years. Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews, vaccination HRs remained below one across age and SES classes. CONCLUSIONS: Age and SES modified the association between population group and vaccination coverage. Identifying the interplay between sociodemographic characteristics and the underlying explanations may improve targeted efforts, aimed at closing vaccination coverage gaps and mitigating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Jews , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Vaccination , Young Adult
16.
N Engl J Med ; 385(26): 2421-2430, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562194

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After promising initial results from the administration of a third (booster) dose of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to persons 60 years of age or older, the booster campaign in Israel was gradually expanded to persons in younger age groups who had received a second dose at least 5 months earlier. METHODS: We extracted data for the period from July 30 to October 10, 2021, from the Israel Ministry of Health database regarding 4,696,865 persons 16 years of age or older who had received two doses of BNT162b2 at least 5 months earlier. In the primary analysis, we compared the rates of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), severe illness, and death among those who had received a booster dose at least 12 days earlier (booster group) with the rates among those who had not received a booster (nonbooster group). In a secondary analysis, we compared the rates in the booster group with the rates among those who had received a booster 3 to 7 days earlier (early postbooster group). We used Poisson regression models to estimate rate ratios after adjusting for possible confounding factors. RESULTS: The rate of confirmed infection was lower in the booster group than in the nonbooster group by a factor of approximately 10 (range across five age groups, 9.0 to 17.2) and was lower in the booster group than in the early postbooster group by a factor of 4.9 to 10.8. The adjusted rate difference ranged from 57.0 to 89.5 infections per 100,000 person-days in the primary analysis and from 34.4 to 38.3 in the secondary analysis. The rates of severe illness in the primary and secondary analyses were lower in the booster group by a factor of 17.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.1 to 21.2) and 6.5 (95% CI, 5.1 to 8.2), respectively, among those 60 years of age or older and by a factor of 21.7 (95% CI, 10.6 to 44.2) and 3.7 (95% CI, 1.3 to 10.2) among those 40 to 59 years of age. The adjusted rate difference in the primary and secondary analyses was 5.4 and 1.9 cases of severe illness per 100,000 person-days among those 60 years of age or older and 0.6 and 0.1 among those 40 to 59 years of age. Among those 60 years of age or older, mortality was lower by a factor of 14.7 (95% CI, 10.0 to 21.4) in the primary analysis and 4.9 (95% CI, 3.1 to 7.9) in the secondary analysis. The adjusted rate difference in the primary and secondary analyses was 2.1 and 0.8 deaths per 100,000 person-days. CONCLUSIONS: Across the age groups studied, rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were substantially lower among participants who received a booster dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine than among those who did not.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Immunization, Secondary , Patient Acuity , /statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294817

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Infection with SARS-CoV-2 provides substantial natural immunity against reinfection. Recent studies have shown strong waning of the immunity provided by the BNT162b2 vaccine. The time course of natural and hybrid immunity is unknown. METHODS Data on confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections were extracted from the Israeli Ministry of Health database for the period August to September 2021 regarding all persons previously infected or vaccinated. We compared infection rates as a function of time since the last immunity-conferring event using Poisson regression, adjusting for possible confounding factors. RESULTS Confirmed infection rates increased according to time elapsed since the last immunity-conferring event in all cohorts. For unvaccinated previously infected individuals they increased from 10.5 per 100,000 risk-days for those previously infected 4-6 months ago to 30.2 for those previously infected over a year ago. For individuals receiving a single dose following prior infection they increased from 3.7 per 100,000 person days among those vaccinated in the past two months to 11.6 for those vaccinated over 6 months ago. For vaccinated previously uninfected individuals the rate per 100,000 person days increased from 21.1 for persons vaccinated within the first two months to 88.9 for those vaccinated more than 6 months ago. CONCLUSIONS Protection from reinfection decreases with time since previous infection, but is, nevertheless, higher than that conferred by vaccination with two doses at a similar time since the last immunity-conferring event. A single vaccine dose after infection helps to restore protection.

18.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294695

ABSTRACT

Background: Knowing whether and to what extent COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness wanes is critical to informing vaccine policy, such as the need for and timing of booster doses. <br><br>Methods: We performed a systematic review from June 17 to October 27, 2021, using a structured search strategy of multiple databases. Studies with vaccine efficacy or effectiveness (VE) estimates for any WHO Emergency-Use-Listed COVID-19 vaccine at discrete time intervals after full vaccination and meeting pre-defined screening criteria underwent full-text review and risk of bias assessment. Random effects meta-regression was used to estimate the average change in VE from one to six months after full vaccination. <br><br>Findings: Of 9,261 studies screened, 217 underwent full text review, and 14 were included in analyses. Vaccines evaluated were Pfizer/BioNTech-Comirnaty (n=11), Moderna-mRNA-1273 (n=8), Janssen-Ad26.COV2.S (n=3), and AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria (n=2). On average, VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased between 1 and 6 months after full vaccination by 18·5 percentage points (95% CI 8·4-33·4, p=0·0006) among persons of all ages and 19·9 percentage points (95% CI 9·2-36·7, p=0·0007) among older persons;for symptomatic COVID-19 disease, VE decreased by 25·4 (95% CI 13·7-42·5) and 32·0 percentage points (95% CI 11·0-69·0), respectively;and for severe COVID-19 disease, VE decreased by 8·0 (95% CI 3·6-15·2) and 9·7 percentage points (95% CI 5·9-14·7), respectively. The majority of VE estimates against severe disease remained over 70% for all time points. <br><br>Interpretation: COVID-19 vaccine efficacy or effectiveness against COVID-19 severe disease remained high (>70%) in most studies in the six months after full vaccination, although it did decrease some (on average, 8-10 percentage points) between one and six months after full vaccination. In contrast, VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic COVID-19 disease decreased approximately 20-30 percentage points during the six months after vaccination. The decrease in VE is likely due, at least in part, to waning immunity, although we cannot rule out the effect of bias. Continued follow-up of VE beyond six months is critical for updating COVID-19 vaccine policy. . <br><br>Funding Information: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)<br><br>Declaration of Interests: MMH reports research grants from World Health Organization (WHO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and Pfizer (all paid to the institution). RA reports a contract from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a grant from the Chile Ministry of Science, and consulting fees from Mayo Clinic and Chile Ministry of Health. YG reports research grants from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and Israel Science Foundation. MJG reports research grants from South African Medical Research Council and BMGF (all paid to the institution) and participation on a data safety monitoring board for a study on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination against SARS-CoV-2-associated hospitalization and death. AH reports research grants from United States-Israel BSF. KLO serves as the Secretariat for the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. MDK reports research grants from WHO, CEPI, ADB, and Pfizer (all paid to the institution) and consultancy fees from Merck. All other authors have nothing to declare. <br><br>

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293587

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Infection with SARS-CoV-2 provides substantial natural immunity against reinfection. Recent studies have shown strong waning of the immunity provided by the BNT162b2 vaccine. The time course of natural and hybrid immunity is unknown. METHODS Data on confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections were extracted from the Israeli Ministry of Health database for the period August to September 2021 regarding all persons previously infected or vaccinated. We compared infection rates as a function of time since the last immunity-conferring event using Poisson regression, adjusting for possible confounding factors. RESULTS Confirmed infection rates increased according to time elapsed since the last immunity-conferring event in all cohorts. For unvaccinated previously infected individuals they increased from 10.5 per 100,000 risk-days for those previously infected 4-6 months ago to 30.2 for those previously infected over a year ago. For individuals receiving a single dose following prior infection they increased from 3.7 per 100,000 person days among those vaccinated in the past two months to 11.6 for those vaccinated over 6 months ago. For vaccinated previously uninfected individuals the rate per 100,000 person days increased from 21.1 for persons vaccinated within the first two months to 88.9 for those vaccinated more than 6 months ago. CONCLUSIONS Protection from reinfection decreases with time since previous infection, but is, nevertheless, higher than that conferred by vaccination with two doses at a similar time since the last immunity-conferring event. A single vaccine dose after infection helps to restore protection.

20.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(9): 999-1009, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Concurrent with the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Israel initiated on Dec 19, 2020, we assessed the early antibody responses and antibody kinetics after each vaccine dose in health-care workers of different ages and sexes, and with different comorbidities. METHODS: We did a prospective, single-centre, longitudinal cohort study at the Sheba Medical Centre (Tel-Hashomer, Israel). Eligible participants were health-care workers at the centre who had a negative anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay before receiving the first dose of the intramuscular vaccine, and at least one serological antibody test after the first dose of the vaccine. Health-care workers with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test before vaccination, a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serology test before vaccination, or infection with COVID-19 after vaccination were excluded from the study. Participants were followed up weekly for 5 weeks after the first vaccine dose; a second dose was given at week 3. Serum samples were obtained at baseline and at each weekly follow-up, and antibodies were tested at 1-2 weeks after the first vaccine dose, at week 3 with the administration of the second vaccine dose, and at weeks 4-5 (ie, 1-2 weeks after the second vaccine dose). Participants with comorbidities were approached to participate in an enriched comorbidities subgroup, and at least two neutralising assays were done during the 5 weeks of follow-up in those individuals. IgG assays were done for the entire study population, whereas IgM, IgA, and neutralising antibody assays were done only in the enriched comorbidities subgroup. Concentrations of IgG greater than 0·62 sample-to-cutoff (s/co) ratio and of IgA greater than 1·1 s/co, and titres of neutralising antibodies greater than 10 were considered positive. Scatter plot and correlation analyses, logistic and linear regression analyses, and linear mixed models were used to investigate the longitudinal antibody responses. FINDINGS: Between Dec 19, 2020, and Jan 30, 2021, we obtained 4026 serum samples from 2607 eligible, vaccinated participants. 342 individuals were included in the enriched comorbidities subgroup. The first vaccine dose elicited positive IgG and neutralising antibody responses at week 3 in 707 (88·0%) of 803 individuals, and 264 (71·0%) of 372 individuals, respectively, which were rapidly increased at week 4 (ie, 1 week after the second vaccine dose) in 1011 (98·4%) of 1027 and 357 (96·5%) of 370 individuals, respectively. Over 4 weeks of follow-up after vaccination, a high correlation (r=0·92) was detected between IgG against the receptor-binding domain and neutralising antibody titres. First-dose induced IgG response was significantly lower in individuals aged 66 years and older (ratio of means 0·25, 95% CI 0·19-0·31) and immunosuppressed individuals (0·21, 0·14-0·31) compared with individuals aged 18·00-45·99 years and individuals with no immunosuppression, respectively. This disparity was partly abrogated following the second dose. Overall, endpoint regression analysis showed that lower antibody concentrations were consistently associated with male sex (ratio of means 0·84, 95% CI 0·80-0·89), older age (ie, ≥66 years; 0·64, 0·58-0·71), immunosuppression (0·44, 0·33-0·58), and other specific comorbidities: diabetes (0·88, 0·79-0·98), hypertension (0·90, 0·82-0·98), heart disease (0·86, 0·75-1·00), and autoimmune diseases (0·82, 0·73-0·92). INTERPRETATION: BNT162b2 vaccine induces a robust and rapid antibody response. The significant correlation between receptor-binding domain IgG antibodies and neutralisation titres suggests that IgG antibodies might serve as a correlate of neutralisation. The second vaccine dose is particularly important for older and immunosuppressed individuals, highlighting the need for timely second vaccinations and potentially a revaluation of the long gap between doses in some countries. Antibody responses were reduced in susceptible populations and therefore they might be more prone to breakthrough infections. FUNDING: Sheba Medical Center, Israel Ministry of Health.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Israel/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
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