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1.
Lancet Microbe ; 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106236

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding protection conferred by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection versus COVID-19 vaccination is important for informing vaccine mandate decisions. We compared protection conferred by natural infection versus that from the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines in Qatar. METHODS: We conducted two matched retrospective cohort studies that emulated target trials. Data were obtained from the national federated databases for COVID-19 vaccination, SARS-CoV-2 testing, and COVID-19-related hospitalisation and death between Feb 28, 2020 (pandemic onset in Qatar) and May 12, 2022. We matched individuals with a documented primary infection and no vaccination record (natural infection cohort) with individuals who had received two doses (primary series) of the same vaccine (BNT162b2-vaccinated or mRNA-1273-vaccinated cohorts) at the start of follow-up (90 days after the primary infection). Individuals were exact matched (1:1) by sex, 10-year age group, nationality, comorbidity count, and timing of primary infection or first-dose vaccination. Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related hospitalisation and death in the natural infection cohorts was compared with incidence in the vaccinated cohorts, using Cox proportional hazards regression models with adjustment for matching factors. FINDINGS: Between Jan 5, 2021 (date of second-dose vaccine roll-out) and May 12, 2022, 104 500 individuals vaccinated with BNT162b2 and 61 955 individuals vaccinated with mRNA-1273 were matched to unvaccinated individuals with a documented primary infection. During follow-up, 7123 SARS-CoV-2 infections were recorded in the BNT162b2-vaccinated cohort and 3583 reinfections were recorded in the matched natural infection cohort. 4282 SARS-CoV-2 infections were recorded in the mRNA-1273-vaccinated cohort and 2301 reinfections were recorded in the matched natural infection cohort. The overall adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0·47 (95% CI 0·45-0·48) after previous natural infection versus BNT162b2 vaccination, and 0·51 (0·49-0·54) after previous natural infection versus mRNA-1273 vaccination. The overall adjusted HR for severe (acute care hospitalisations), critical (intensive care unit hospitalisations), or fatal COVID-19 cases was 0·24 (0·08-0·72) after previous natural infection versus BNT162b2 vaccination, and 0·24 (0·05-1·19) after previous natural infection versus mRNA-1273 vaccination. Severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 was rare in both the natural infection and vaccinated cohorts. INTERPRETATION: Previous natural infection was associated with lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of the variant, than mRNA primary-series vaccination. Vaccination remains the safest and most optimal tool for protecting against infection and COVID-19-related hospitalisation and death, irrespective of previous infection status. FUNDING: The Biomedical Research Program and the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biomathematics Research Core, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar; Qatar Ministry of Public Health; Hamad Medical Corporation; Sidra Medicine; Qatar Genome Programme; and Qatar University Biomedical Research Center.

2.
N Engl J Med ; 387(20): 1865-1876, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The BNT162b2 vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has been authorized for use in children 5 to 11 years of age and adolescents 12 to 17 years of age but in different antigen doses. METHODS: We assessed the real-world effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine against infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among children and adolescents in Qatar. To compare the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the national cohort of vaccinated participants with the incidence in the national cohort of unvaccinated participants, we conducted three matched, retrospective, target-trial, cohort studies - one assessing data obtained from children 5 to 11 years of age after the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant became prevalent and two assessing data from adolescents 12 to 17 years of age before the emergence of the omicron variant (pre-omicron study) and after the omicron variant became prevalent. Associations were estimated with the use of Cox proportional-hazards regression models. RESULTS: Among children, the overall effectiveness of the 10-µg primary vaccine series against infection with the omicron variant was 25.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.0 to 38.6). Effectiveness was highest (49.6%; 95% CI, 28.5 to 64.5) right after receipt of the second dose but waned rapidly thereafter and was negligible after 3 months. Effectiveness was 46.3% (95% CI, 21.5 to 63.3) among children 5 to 7 years of age and 16.6% (95% CI, -4.2 to 33.2) among those 8 to 11 years of age. Among adolescents, the overall effectiveness of the 30-µg primary vaccine series against infection with the omicron variant was 30.6% (95% CI, 26.9 to 34.1), but many adolescents had been vaccinated months earlier. Effectiveness waned over time since receipt of the second dose. Effectiveness was 35.6% (95% CI, 31.2 to 39.6) among adolescents 12 to 14 years of age and 20.9% (95% CI, 13.8 to 27.4) among those 15 to 17 years of age. In the pre-omicron study, the overall effectiveness of the 30-µg primary vaccine series against SARS-CoV-2 infection among adolescents was 87.6% (95% CI, 84.0 to 90.4) and waned relatively slowly after receipt of the second dose. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination in children was associated with modest, rapidly waning protection against omicron infection. Vaccination in adolescents was associated with stronger, more durable protection, perhaps because of the larger antigen dose. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , BNT162 Vaccine , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Travel Med ; 2022 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051490

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The future of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic hinges on virus evolution and duration of immune protection of natural infection against reinfection. We investigated duration of protection afforded by natural infection, the effect of viral immune evasion on duration of protection, and protection against severe reinfection, in Qatar, between February 28, 2020 and June 5, 2022. METHODS: Three national, matched, retrospective cohort studies were conducted to compare incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity among unvaccinated persons with a documented SARS-CoV-2 primary infection, to incidence among those infection-naïve and unvaccinated. Associations were estimated using Cox proportional-hazard regression models. RESULTS: Effectiveness of pre-Omicron primary infection against pre-Omicron reinfection was 85.5% (95% CI: 84.8-86.2%). Effectiveness peaked at 90.5% (95% CI: 88.4-92.3%) in the 7th month after the primary infection, but waned to ~ 70% by the 16th month. Extrapolating this waning trend using a Gompertz curve suggested an effectiveness of 50% in the 22nd month and < 10% by the 32nd month. Effectiveness of pre-Omicron primary infection against Omicron reinfection was 38.1% (95% CI: 36.3-39.8%) and declined with time since primary infection. A Gompertz curve suggested an effectiveness of < 10% by the 15th month. Effectiveness of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3% (95% CI: 94.9-98.6%), irrespective of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence for waning. Similar results were found in sub-group analyses for those ≥50 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Protection of natural infection against reinfection wanes and may diminish within a few years. Viral immune evasion accelerates this waning. Protection against severe reinfection remains very strong, with no evidence for waning, irrespective of variant, for over 14 months after primary infection.

6.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046469

ABSTRACT

In 2021, Qatar experienced considerable incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection that was dominated sequentially by the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants. Using the cycle threshold (Ct) value of an RT-qPCR-positive test to proxy the inverse of infectiousness, we investigated infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 infections by variant, age, sex, vaccination status, prior infection status, and reason for testing in a random sample of 18,355 RT-qPCR-genotyped infections. Regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations with the Ct value of RT-qPCR-positive tests. Compared to Beta infections, Alpha and Delta infections demonstrated 2.56 higher Ct cycles (95% CI: 2.35-2.78), and 4.92 fewer cycles (95% CI: 4.67- 5.16), respectively. The Ct value declined gradually with age and was especially high for children <10 years of age, signifying lower infectiousness in small children. Children <10 years of age had 2.18 higher Ct cycles (95% CI: 1.88-2.48) than those 10-19 years of age. Compared to unvaccinated individuals, the Ct value was higher among individuals who had received one or two vaccine doses, but the Ct value decreased gradually with time since the second-dose vaccination. Ct value was 2.07 cycles higher (95% CI: 1.42-2.72) for those with a prior infection than those without prior infection. The Ct value was lowest among individuals tested because of symptoms and was highest among individuals tested as a travel requirement. Delta was substantially more infectious than Beta. Prior immunity, whether due to vaccination or prior infection, is associated with lower infectiousness of breakthrough infections, but infectiousness increases gradually with time since the second-dose vaccination.

7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017770

ABSTRACT

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

8.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 462022 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994939

ABSTRACT

In August 2021, there was an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Delta variant on an international liquified natural gas (LNG) vessel offshore to Gladstone, Queensland. Fourteen of the 26 crew members aboard the vessel tested positive for SARS-COV-2 on PCR during the outbreak. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 52% for all lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, 65% for symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and 100% for severe SARS-CoV-2. The attack rate (AR) of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant was 54% (14/26). With heightened public health measures and infection control practices, we were able to declare the outbreak over in 26 days.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Natural Gas , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccine Efficacy
9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4675, 2022 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984386

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reinfection , Humans , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Infect Drug Resist ; 15: 3871-3879, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963198

ABSTRACT

Objective: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection among female workers who were restricted to working from home compared with those who continued to attend in-person work. Methods: As part of national surveillance program, serum samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing and nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 PCR were obtained on 1636 female school staff and salon/spa workers who were restricted to work remotely (restricted group) and 1190 female health-care workers who continued in-person work (unrestricted group). Results: Seropositivity rate was 5.1% among the restricted and 22.7% among the unrestricted group (P < 0.0001). Presence of symptoms at baseline (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.88; 95% CI 2.09-3.97), contact with a confirmed case (aOR 2.34; 95% CI 1.37-3.98), and unrestricted work type (aOR 4.71; 95% CI 3.24-6.86) were associated with a higher risk of infection, while increasing age was associated with a lower risk of infection. Conclusion: Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection as determined by seropositivity was higher among women who were not subject to workplace restrictions.

11.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271324, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938448

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Public Health , Qatar/epidemiology , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
N Engl J Med ; 387(1): 21-34, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890356

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The protection conferred by natural immunity, vaccination, and both against symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with the BA.1 or BA.2 sublineages of the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant is unclear. METHODS: We conducted a national, matched, test-negative, case-control study in Qatar from December 23, 2021, through February 21, 2022, to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna), natural immunity due to previous infection with variants other than omicron, and hybrid immunity (previous infection and vaccination) against symptomatic omicron infection and against severe, critical, or fatal coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). RESULTS: The effectiveness of previous infection alone against symptomatic BA.2 infection was 46.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.5 to 51.9). The effectiveness of vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was negligible (-1.1%; 95% CI, -7.1 to 4.6), but nearly all persons had received their second dose more than 6 months earlier. The effectiveness of three doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was 52.2% (95% CI, 48.1 to 55.9). The effectiveness of previous infection and two doses of BNT162b2 was 55.1% (95% CI, 50.9 to 58.9), and the effectiveness of previous infection and three doses of BNT162b2 was 77.3% (95% CI, 72.4 to 81.4). Previous infection alone, BNT162b2 vaccination alone, and hybrid immunity all showed strong effectiveness (>70%) against severe, critical, or fatal Covid-19 due to BA.2 infection. Similar results were observed in analyses of effectiveness against BA.1 infection and of vaccination with mRNA-1273. CONCLUSIONS: No discernable differences in protection against symptomatic BA.1 and BA.2 infection were seen with previous infection, vaccination, and hybrid immunity. Vaccination enhanced protection among persons who had had a previous infection. Hybrid immunity resulting from previous infection and recent booster vaccination conferred the strongest protection. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).


Subject(s)
2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Immunity, Innate , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/immunology , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/therapeutic use , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination
14.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3082, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873502

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
15.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330779

ABSTRACT

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

16.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330725

ABSTRACT

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

17.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330103

ABSTRACT

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

18.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329824

ABSTRACT

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

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

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Qatar/epidemiology , RNA, Messenger , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic
20.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329470

ABSTRACT

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

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