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1.
N Engl J Med ; 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have been used since December 2020 in the United Kingdom. Real-world data have shown the vaccines to be highly effective against Covid-19 and related severe disease and death. Vaccine effectiveness may wane over time since the receipt of the second dose of the ChAdOx1-S (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and BNT162b2 vaccines. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 and related hospitalization and death in England. Effectiveness of the ChAdOx1-S and BNT162b2 vaccines was assessed according to participant age and status with regard to coexisting conditions and over time since receipt of the second vaccine dose to investigate waning of effectiveness separately for the B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.617.2 (delta) variants. RESULTS: Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 with the delta variant peaked in the early weeks after receipt of the second dose and then decreased by 20 weeks to 44.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 43.2 to 45.4) with the ChAdOx1-S vaccine and to 66.3% (95% CI, 65.7 to 66.9) with the BNT162b2 vaccine. Waning of vaccine effectiveness was greater in persons 65 years of age or older than in those 40 to 64 years of age. At 20 weeks or more after vaccination, vaccine effectiveness decreased less against both hospitalization, to 80.0% (95% CI, 76.8 to 82.7) with the ChAdOx1-S vaccine and 91.7% (95% CI, 90.2 to 93.0) with the BNT162b2 vaccine, and death, to 84.8% (95% CI, 76.2 to 90.3) and 91.9% (95% CI, 88.5 to 94.3), respectively. Greater waning in vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization was observed in persons 65 years of age or older in a clinically extremely vulnerable group and in persons 40 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions than in healthy adults. CONCLUSIONS: We observed limited waning in vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death at 20 weeks or more after vaccination with two doses of the ChAdOx1-S or BNT162b2 vaccine. Waning was greater in older adults and in those in a clinical risk group.

2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613512

ABSTRACT

Serum samples were collected pre- and post-booster vaccination with Comirnaty in 626 participants (aged ≥ 50 years) who had received two Comirnaty doses < 30 days apart, two Comirnaty doses ≥ 30 days apart or two Vaxzevria doses ≥ 30 days apart. Irrespective of primary vaccine type or schedule, spike antibody GMTs peaked 2-4 weeks after second dose, fell significantly ≤ 38 weeks later and rose above primary immunisation GMTs 2-4 weeks post-booster. Higher post-booster responses were observed with a longer interval between primary immunisation and boosting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , London , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
3.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0078621, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605388

ABSTRACT

Seroepidemiological studies to monitor antibody kinetics are important for assessing the extent and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population. Noninvasive sampling methods are advantageous for reducing the need for venipuncture, which may be a barrier to investigations, particularly in pediatric populations. Oral fluids are obtained by gingiva-crevicular sampling from children and adults and are very well accepted. Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) based on these samples have acceptable sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional serum-based antibody EIAs and are suitable for population-based surveillance. We describe the development and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 IgG EIAs using SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleoprotein (NP) and spike (S) proteins in IgG isotype capture format and an indirect receptor-binding-domain (RBD) IgG EIA, intended for use in children as a primary endpoint. All three assays were assessed using a panel of 1,999 paired serum and oral fluids from children and adults participating in school SARS-CoV-2 surveillance studies during and after the first and second pandemic wave in the United Kingdom. The anti-NP IgG capture assay was the best candidate, with an overall sensitivity of 75% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 71 to 79%) and specificity of 99% (95% CI: 78 to 99%) compared with paired serum antibodies. Sensitivity observed in children (80%, 95% CI: 71 to 88%) was higher than that in adults (67%, CI: 60% to 74%). Oral fluid assays (OF) using spike protein and RBD antigens were also 99% specific and achieved reasonable but lower sensitivity in the target population (78%, 95% CI [68% to 86%] and 53%, 95% CI [43% to 64%], respectively). IMPORTANCE We report on the first large-scale assessment of the suitability of oral fluids for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibody obtained from healthy children attending school. The sample type (gingiva-crevicular fluid, which is a transudate of blood but is not saliva) can be self collected. Although detection of antibodies in oral fluids is less sensitive than that in blood, our study suggests an optimal format for operational use. The laboratory methods we have developed can reliably measure antibodies in children, who are able to take their own samples. Our findings are of immediate practical relevance for use in large-scale seroprevalence studies designed to measure exposure to infection, as they typically require venipuncture. Overall, our data indicate that OF assays based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are a tool suitable for population-based seroepidemiology studies in children and highly acceptable in children and adults, as venipuncture is no longer necessary.

4.
Curr Pediatr Rev ; 2021 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581513

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, a local outbreak of pneumonia presented in Wuhan (China), and quickly identified to be caused by a novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was named COVID-19 and was soon declared as pandemic because of the millions of infections and thousands of deaths worldwide. Children infected with SARS-CoV-2 usually develop asymptomatic or mild disease compared to adults. They are also more likely to have atypical and non-specific clinical manifestations than adults. METHODS: A literature search was performed in PubMed and Scopus to summarize the extrapulmonary manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children since the beginning of the pandemic. Peer-reviewed papers in English were retrieved using the following keywords and combinations: 'pediatric', 'child', 'infant', 'neonate', 'novel coronavirus', 'SARS-CoV-2', 'COVID 19' and 'gastrointestinal', 'renal', 'cardiac', 'dermatologic' or 'ophthalmologic'. We included published case series and case reports providing clinical symptoms and signs in SARS-CoV2 pediatric patients. RESULTS: Although fever and symptoms of upper respiratory infection are the most frequently presented, a variety of other atypical presentations has also been reported. The clinical spectrum includes dermatological, ophthalmological, neurological, cardiovascular, renal, reproductive, and gastrointestinal presentations. In addition, a rare multi-inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection has been reported in children, often leading to shock requiring inotropic support and mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians need to be aware of the wider range of extrapulmonary atypical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, so that appropriate testing, treatment, and public health measures can be implemented rapidly.

5.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 40-49, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585824

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear. Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3-11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults. Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses. Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months. Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein. These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Protection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans
6.
Nat Med ; 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585817

ABSTRACT

Identifying which children and young people (CYP) are most vulnerable to serious infection due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is important to guide protective interventions. To address this question, we used data for all hospitalizations in England among 0-17 year olds from 1 February 2019 to 31 January 2021. We examined how sociodemographic factors and comorbidities might be risk factors for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission among hospitalizations due to the following causes: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) in the first pandemic year (2020-2021); hospitalizations due to all other non-traumatic causes in 2020-2021; hospitalizations due to all non-traumatic causes in 2019-2020; and hospitalizations due to influenza in 2019-2020. Risk of PICU admission and death from COVID-19 or PIMS-TS in CYP was very low. We identified 6,338 hospitalizations with COVID-19, of which 259 were admitted to a PICU and eight CYP died. We identified 712 hospitalizations with PIMS-TS, of which 312 were admitted to a PICU and fewer than five CYP died. Hospitalizations with COVID-19 and PIMS-TS were more common among males, older CYP, those from socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods and those who were of non-White ethnicity (Black, Asian, Mixed or Other). The odds of PICU admission were increased in CYP younger than 1 month old and decreased among 15-17 year olds compared to 1-4 year olds with COVID-19; increased in older CYP and females with PIMS-TS; and increased for Black compared to White ethnicity in patients with COVID-19 and PIMS-TS. Odds of PICU admission in COVID-19 were increased for CYP with comorbidities and highest for CYP with multiple medical problems. Increases in odds of PICU admission associated with different comorbidities in COVID-19 showed a similar pattern to other causes of hospitalization examined and, thus, likely reflect background vulnerabilities. These findings identify distinct risk factors associated with PICU admission among CYP with COVID-19 or PIMS-TS that might aid treatment and prevention strategies.

7.
J Infect ; 2021 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587235

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of children and young people (CYP) in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in household and educational settings remains unclear. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of contact-tracing and population-based studies at low risk of bias. METHODS: We searched 4 electronic databases on 28 July 2021 for contact-tracing studies and population-based studies informative about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from 0 to 19 year olds in household or educational settings. We excluded studies at high risk of bias, including from under-ascertainment of asymptomatic infections. We undertook multilevel random effects meta-analyses of secondary attack rates (SAR: contact-tracing studies) and school infection prevalence, and used meta-regression to examine the impact of community SARS-CoV-2 incidence on school infection prevalence. FINDINGS: 4529 abstracts were reviewed, resulting in 37 included studies (16 contact-tracing; 19 population studies; 2 mixed studies). The pooled relative transmissibility of CYP compared with adults was 0.92 (0.68, 1.26) in adjusted household studies. The pooled SAR from CYP was lower (p = 0.002) in school studies 0.7% (0.2, 2.7) than household studies (7.6% (3.6, 15.9) . There was no difference in SAR from CYP to child or adult contacts. School population studies showed some evidence of clustering in classes within schools. School infection prevalence was associated with contemporary community 14-day incidence (OR 1.003 (1.001, 1.004), p<0.001). INTERPRETATION: We found no difference in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from CYP compared with adults within household settings. SAR were markedly lower in school compared with household settings, suggesting that household transmission is more important than school transmission in this pandemic. School infection prevalence was associated with community infection incidence, supporting hypotheses that school infections broadly reflect community infections. These findings are important for guiding policy decisions on shielding, vaccination school and operations during the pandemic.

8.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297070

ABSTRACT

Background: There are limited data on immune responses to heterologous COVID–19 immunisation schedules, especially following an extended ≥12–week interval between doses. Methods: SARS–CoV–2 infection–naïve and previously–infected adults receiving ChAd–BNT (ChAdOx1 nCoV–19, AstraZeneca followed by BNT162b2, Pfizer–BioNTech) or BNT–ChAd as part of the UK national immunisation programme provided blood samples at 30 days and 12 weeks after their second dose. Geometric mean concentrations (GMC) of anti–SARS–CoV–2 spike (S-antibody) and nucleoprotein (N-antibody) IgG antibodies and geometric mean ratios (GMR) were compared with a contemporaneous cohort receiving homologous ChAd–ChAd or BNT–BNT. Results: During March–October 2021, 75,827 individuals were identified as having received heterologous vaccination, 9,489 invited to participate, 1,836 responded (19.3%) and 656 were eligible. In previously–uninfected adults, S–antibody GMC at 30 days post–second dose were lowest for ChAd–ChAd (862 (95%CI, 694– 1069)) and significantly higher for ChAd–BNT (6233 (5522– 7035);GMR 6.29;(5.04– 7.85);p<0.001), BNT-ChAd (4776 (4066– 5610);GMR 4.55 (3.56– 5.81);p<0.001) and BNT–BNT (5377 (4596– 6289);GMR 5.66 (4.49– 7.15);p<0.001). By 12 weeks after dose two, S–antibody GMC had declined in all groups and remained significantly lower for ChAd–ChAd compared to ChAd–BNT (GMR 5.12 (3.79– 6.92);p<0.001), BNT–ChAd (GMR 4.1 (2.96– 5.69);p<0.001) and BNT–BNT (GMR 6.06 (4.32– 8.50);p<0.001). Previously infected adults had higher S–antibody GMC compared to infection–naïve adults at all time–points and with all vaccine schedules. Conclusions: These real–world findings demonstrate heterologous schedules with adenoviral–vector and mRNA vaccines are highly immunogenic and may be recommended after a serious adverse reaction to one vaccine product, or to increase programmatic flexibility where vaccine supplies are constrained.

9.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297053

ABSTRACT

Background: The role of children and young people (CYP) in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in household and educational settings remains unclear. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of contact-tracing and population-based studies at low risk of bias. Methods We searched 4 electronic databases on 28 July 2021 for contact-tracing studies and population-based studies informative about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from 0-19 year olds in household or educational settings. We excluded studies at high risk of bias, including from under-ascertainment of asymptomatic infections. We undertook multilevel random effects meta-analyses of secondary attack rates (SAR: contact-tracing studies) and school infection prevalence, and used meta-regression to examine the impact of community SARS-CoV-2 incidence on school infection prevalence. Findings 4529 abstracts were reviewed, resulting in 37 included studies (16 contact-tracing;19 population studies;2 mixed studies). The pooled relative transmissibility of CYP compared with adults was 0.92 (0.68, 1.26) in adjusted household studies. The pooled SAR from CYP was lower (p=0.002) in school studies 0.7% (0.2, 2.7) than household studies (7.6% (3.6, 15.9) . There was no difference in SAR from CYP to child or adult contacts. School population studies showed some evidence of clustering in classes within schools. School infection prevalence was associated with contemporary community 14-day incidence (OR 1.003 (1.001, 1.004), p<0.001). Interpretation We found no difference in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from CYP compared with adults within household settings. SAR were markedly lower in school compared with household settings, suggesting that household transmission is more important than school transmission in this pandemic. School infection prevalence was associated with community infection incidence, supporting hypotheses that school infections broadly reflect community infections. These findings are important for guiding policy decisions on shielding, vaccination school and operations during the pandemic.

10.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296914

ABSTRACT

Adolescents in the UK were recommended to have their first dose of mRNA vaccine during a period of high community transmission due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, followed by a second dose at an extended interval of 8-12 weeks. We used national SARS-CoV-2 testing, vaccination and hospitalisation data to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) using a test-negative case-control design, against PCR-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 in England. VE against symptomatic disease increased to 80% within two weeks of the first dose of BNT162b2 vaccine (higher than in adults aged 18-64 years) and then declines rapidly to 40% within 8 weeks (similar to adults). Early data in 16-17-year-olds also indicate high protection against hospitalisation and a rapid increase in VE against symptomatic COVID-19 after the second dose. Our data highlight the importance of the second vaccine dose for protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and raise important questions about the objectives of an adolescent immunisation programme. If prevention of infection is the primary aim, then regular COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be required.

11.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296846

ABSTRACT

Background Reinfection after primary SARS-CoV-2 infection is uncommon in adults, but little is known about the risks, characteristics, severity or outcomes of reinfection in children. Methods We used national SARS-CoV-2 testing data in England to estimate the risk of reinfection ≥90 days after primary infection from 01 January 2020 to 31 July 2021, which encompassed both the Alpha and Delta waves in England. Disease severity was assessed by linking reinfection cases to national hospitalisation, intensive care admission and death registrations datasets. Findings Reinfection rates closely followed community infection rates, with a small peak during the Alpha wave and a larger peak during the Delta wave. In children aged ≤16 years, there were 688,418 primary infections and 2,343 reinfections. The overall reinfection rate was 66·88/100,000 population, being higher in adults (72.53/100,000) than in children (21·53/100,000). Reinfection rates after primary infection were 0·68% overall, 0·73% in adults and 0·34% in children. Of the 109 reinfections in children admitted to hospital, 78 (72%) had underlying comorbidities. Hospitalisation rates were similar for the first (64/2343, 2·73%) and second episode (57/2343, 2·43%). Intensive care admission was rare after primary infection (n=7) or reinfection (n=4), mainly in children with comorbidities. 44 deaths occurred after primary infection within 28 days of diagnosis (44/688,418, 0·01%), none after possible reinfections. Interpretation The risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is strongly related to exposure due to community infection rates, especially during the Delta variant wave. Children had a lower risk of reinfection than adults, but reinfections were not associated with more severe disease or fatal outcomes. Funding PHE/UKHSA Research in Context Evidence Before this study We searched PubMed with the terms “COVID-19” or “SARS-CoV-2” with “reinfection” to identify publications relating to SARS-CoV-2 reinfections from 01 January until 15 November 2021. There were few publications relating to SARS-CoV-2 reinfections, and these primarily related to adults. Published studies reported very low rates of reinfection during the first few months after primary infection in adults. COVID-19 vaccines provide effective immune protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, but recent studies have reported increasing risk of breakthrough infection with time since primary vaccination due to waning immunity. Several SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the beta, gamma and delta variants have been shown to partially evade immunity after natural infection and vaccination, potentially increasing the risk of reinfections and breakthrough infections, respectively. Data on reinfections in children are lacking and restricted mainly to case reports in immunocompromised children. Added Value of This Study We used national SARS-CoV-2 testing data during the first 19 months of the pandemic to estimate the risk of reinfection in children compared to adults during a period that encompassed both the Alpha and the Delta variant waves in England. We found that the risk of reinfection correlated with the risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and therefore, closely reflected community infection rates, with most reinfections occurring during the Delta variant wave. Whilst acknowledging the limitation of using national testing data, we found that children had a lower risk of reinfection compared to adults and that the risk of reinfection in children increased with age. Reinfections were not associated with severe disease in terms of hospitalization or intensive care admission and there were no fatalities within 28 days of the reinfection episode in children. Implications of all the Available Evidence SARS-CoV-2 reinfections are rare in children, especially younger children, and occurred mainly during the Delta wave in England. Reinfections were not associated with more severe disease or fatal outcomes in children. COVID-19 vaccinati n will provide further protection against primary infections and reinfections in children.

12.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296775

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background The role of educational settings on SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission remains controversial. We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection, seroprevalence and seroconversions rates in secondary schools during the 2020/21 academic year, which included the emergence of the more transmissible Alpha and Delta variants, in England. Methods The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) initiated prospective surveillance in 18 urban English secondary schools. Participants had nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 Nucleoprotein and Spike protein antibodies at the start (Round 1: September-October 2020) and end (Round 2: December 2021) of the autumn term, when schools reopened after national lockdown was imposed in January 2021 (Round 3: March-April) and end of the academic year (Round 4: May-July). Findings We enrolled 2,314 participants (1277 students, 1037 staff). In-school testing identified 31 PCR-positive participants (20 students, 11 staff). Another 247 confirmed cases (112 students, 135 staff) were identified after linkage with national surveillance data, giving an overall positivity rate of 12.0% (278/2313;staff [14.1%, 146/1037] vs students [10.3%, 132/1276;p=0.006). Nucleoprotein-antibody seroprevalence increased for students and staff between Rounds 1-3 but changed little in Round 4, when the Delta variant was the dominant circulating strain. Overall, Nucleoprotein-antibody seroconversion was 18.4% (137/744) in staff and 18.8% (146/778) in students, while Spike-antibody seroconversion was higher in staff (72.8% (525/721) than students (21.3%, 163/764) because of vaccination. Interpretation SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in secondary schools remained low when community infection rates were low because of national lockdown, even after the emergence of the Delta variant Funding DHSC

13.
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.

14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7217, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565716

ABSTRACT

The UK prioritised delivery of the first dose of BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and AZD1222 (AstraZeneca) vaccines by extending the interval between doses up to 12 weeks. In 750 participants aged 50-89 years, we here compare serological responses after BNT162b2 and AZD1222 vaccination with varying dose intervals, and evaluate these against real-world national vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates against COVID-19 in England. We show that antibody levels 14-35 days after dose two are higher in BNT162b2 recipients with an extended vaccine interval (65-84 days) compared with those vaccinated with a standard (19-29 days) interval. Following the extended schedule, antibody levels were 6-fold higher at 14-35 days post dose 2 for BNT162b2 than AZD1222. For both vaccines, VE was higher across all age-groups from 14 days after dose two compared to one dose, but the magnitude varied with dose interval. Higher dose two VE was observed with >6 week interval between BNT162b2 doses compared to the standard schedule. Our findings suggest higher effectiveness against infection using an extended vaccine schedule. Given global vaccine constraints these results are relevant to policymakers.

15.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295014

ABSTRACT

Introduction SARS-CoV-2 serological studies have so far focused mainly on adults. Public Health England initiated prospective, longitudinal SARS-CoV-2 sero-surveillance in schools across England after the first national lockdown, which allowed comparison of child and adult responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection over time. Methods Staff and students had venepuncture for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in school during June, July and December 2020. Blood samples were tested for nucleocapsid (Abbott) and receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies (in-house assay), and student samples were additionally assessed for live virus neutralising activity. Results In June 2020, 1,344 staff and 835 students were tested. Overall, 11.5% (95% CI: 9.4-13.9) and 11.3% (95% CI: 9.2-13.6;p=0.88) of students had nucleoprotein and RBD antibodies, compared to 15.6% (95% CI: 13.7-17.6) and 15.3% (95% CI: 13.4-17.3;p=0.83) of staff. Live virus neutralising activity was detected in 79.8% (n=71/89) of nucleocapsid and 85.5% (71/83) of RBD antibody positive children. RBD antibodies correlated more strongly with neutralising antibodies (r s =0.7527;p<0.0001) than nucleocapsid antibodies (r s =0.3698;p<0.0001). A median of 24.4 weeks later, 58.2% (107/184) participants had nucleocapsid antibody seroreversion, compared to 20.9% (33/158) for RBD (p<0.001). Similar seroreversion rates were observed between staff and students for nucleocapsid (p=0.26) and RBD-antibodies (p=0.43). Nucleocapsid and RBD antibody quantitative results were significantly lower in staff compared to students (p=0.028 and <0.0001 respectively) at baseline, but not at 24 weeks (p=0.16 and p=0.37, respectively). Conclusion RBD antibodies correlated more strongly with live virus neutralising activity. Most seropositive students and staff retained RBD antibodies for >6 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

16.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294620

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but the biological basis for this is unclear. We studied the profile of antibody and cellular immunity in children aged 3-11 years in comparison with adults. Antibody responses against spike and receptor binding domain (RBD) were high in children and seroconversion boosted antibody responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Seroneutralisation assays against alpha, beta and delta SARS-CoV-2 variants demonstrated comparable neutralising activity between children and adults. T cell responses against spike were >2-fold higher in children compared to adults and displayed a T H 1 cytokine profile. SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cells were also detected in many seronegative children, revealing pre-existing responses that were cross-reactive with seasonal Alpha and Beta-coronaviruses. Importantly, all children retained high antibody titres and cellular responses at 6 months after infection whilst relative antibody waning was seen in adults. Spike-specific responses in children also remained broadly stable beyond 12 months. Children thus distinctly generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection with focussed specificity against spike protein. These observations demonstrate novel features of SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in children and may provide insight into their relative clinical protection. Furthermore, this information will help to guide the introduction of vaccination regimens in the paediatric population.

17.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294230

ABSTRACT

Background: Data on the long-term impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and young people (CYP) is conflicting. We assessed evidence on long-term post-COVID symptoms in CYP examining prevalence, risk factors, type and duration.<br><br>Methods: Systematic search of published and unpublished literature using 13 online databases between 01/12/2019 – 31/07/2021. Eligible studies reported CYP ≤19 years with confirmed or probable SARS-CoV-2 with any symptoms persisting beyond acute illness. Random effects meta-analyses examined pooled risk difference in symptom prevalence (controlled studies only) and pooled prevalence (uncontrolled studies also included). Meta-regression examined study characteristics hypothesised to be associated with symptom prevalence. Prospectively registered: CRD42021233153. <br><br>Findings: Twenty two of 3357 unique studies were eligible, including 23,141 CYP. Median duration of follow-up was 125 days (IQR 99-231).Pooled risk difference in post-COVID cases compared to controls (5 studies) were significantly higher for cognitive difficulties (3% (95% CI 1, 4)), headache (5% (1, 8)), loss of smell (8%, (2, 15)), sore throat (2% (1, 2)) and sore eyes (2% (1, 3)) but not abdominal pain, cough, fatigue, myalgia, insomnia, diarrhoea, fever, dizziness or dyspnoea.Pooled prevalence of symptoms in post-COVID participants in 17 studies ranged from 15% (diarrhoea) to 47% (fatigue). Age was associated with higher prevalence of all symptoms except cough. Higher study quality was associated with lower prevalence of all symptoms, except loss of smell and cognitive symptoms.<br><br>Interpretation: The frequency of the majority of reported persistent symptoms was similar in SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and controls. This systematic review and meta-analysis highlights the critical importance of a control group in studies on CYP post SARS-CoV-2 infection.<br><br>Funding: None to declare. <br><br>Declaration of Interest: SAB, RS, SDB, AXDZ, LLO, SNL, BLDS, RMV and OVS have no conflicts of interest. TJS is the Chair of the Health Research Authority for England who reimburse his university for his time. He is not paid personally. He has recused himself from research studies in which he is personally involved and which require ethical approval from the HRA.<br>

18.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294092

ABSTRACT

Background Most individuals with COVID-19 will recover without sequelae, but some will develop long- term multi-system impairments. The definition, duration, prevalence and symptoms associated with long COVID, however, have not been established. Methods Public Health England (PHE) initiated longitudinal surveillance of clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers for monthly blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in March 2020. Eight months after enrolment, participants completed an online questionnaire including 72 symptoms in the preceding month. Symptomatic mild-to-moderate cases with confirmed COVID-19 were compared with asymptomatic, seronegative controls. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent symptoms associated with long COVID. Results All 2,147 participants were contacted and 1,671 (77.8%) completed the questionnaire, including 140 (8.4%) cases and 1,160 controls. At a median of 7.5 (IQR 7.1-7.8) months after infection, 20 cases (14.3%) had ongoing (4/140, 2.9%) or episodic (16/140, 11.4%) symptoms. We identified three clusters of symptoms associated with long COVID, those affecting the sensory (ageusia, anosmia, loss of appetite and blurred vision), neurological (forgetfulness, short-term memory loss and confusion/brain fog) and cardiorespiratory (chest tightness/pain, unusual fatigue, breathlessness after minimal exertion/at rest, palpitations) systems. The sensory cluster had the highest association with being a case (aOR 5.25, 95% CI 3.45-8.01). Dermatological, gynaecological, gastrointestinal or mental health symptoms were not significantly different between cases and controls. Conclusions Most persistent symptoms reported following mild COVID-19 were equally common in cases and controls. While all three clusters identified had a strong association with previous COVID-19 infection, the sensory cluster had the highest specificity and strength of association. Key points Compared to controls, we identified three clusters of symptoms affecting the sensory, neurological and cardiorespiratory systems that were more prevalent among cases. Notably, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms and symptoms related to mental health were as prevalent among cases as controls.

19.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545921

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most children recover quickly after COVID-19, but some may have on-going symptoms. Follow-up studies have been limited by small sample sizes and lack of appropriate controls. METHODS: We used national testing data to identify children aged 2-16 years with a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test during 01-07 January 2021 and randomly selected1,500 PCR-positive cases and 1,500 matched PCR-negative controls. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire about the acute illness and pre-specified neurological, dermatological, sensory, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, mental health (including emotional and behavioural well-being) and other symptoms experienced at least five times at one month after the PCR test. RESULTS: Overall, 35.0% (859/2456) completed the questionnaire, including 38.0% (472/1242) cases and 32% (387/1214) controls. of whom 68% (320/472) and 40% (154/387) were symptomatic, respectively. The most prevalent acute symptoms were cough (249 /859, 29.0%), fever (236/859, 27.5%), headache (236/859, 27.4%) and fatigue (231/859, 26.9%). One month later, 21/320 (6.7%) of symptomatic cases and 6/154 (4.2%) of symptomatic controls (p=0.24) experienced on-going symptoms. Of the 65 on-going symptoms solicited, three clusters were significantly (p<0.05) more common, albeit at low prevalence, among symptomatic cases (3-7%) than symptomatic controls (0-3: neurological, sensory and emotional and behavioural wellbeing. Mental health symptoms were reported by all groups but more frequently among symptomatic cases than symptomatic controls or asymptomatic children. CONCLUSIONS: Children with symptomatic COVID-19 had a slightly higher prevalence of on-going symptoms than symptomatic controls, and not as high as previously reported. Healthcare resources should be prioritised to support the mental health of children.

20.
J Clin Invest ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541976

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBC) can provide a recall response able to supplement waning antibodies with an affinity-matured response better able to neutralise variant viruses. We studied a cohort of elderly care home residents and younger staff (median age 87yrs and 56yrs respectively) who had survived COVID-19 outbreaks with only mild/asymptomatic infection. The cohort was selected to enrich for a high proportion who had lost neutralising antibodies (nAb), to specifically investigate the reserve immunity from SARS-CoV-2-specific MBC in this setting. Class-switched spike and RBD-tetramer-binding MBC persisted five months post-mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of age. The majority of spike/RBD-specific MBC had a classical phenotype but activated memory B cells, that may indicate ongoing antigenic stimulation or inflammation, were expanded in the elderly. Spike/RBD-specific MBC remained detectable in the majority who had lost nAb, although at lower frequencies and with a reduced IgG/IgA isotype ratio. Functional spike/S1/RBD-specific recall was also detectable by ELISpot in some who had lost nAb, but was significantly impaired in the elderly. Our findings demonstrate a reserve of SARS-CoV-2-specific MBC persists beyond loss of nAb, but highlight the need for careful monitoring of functional defects in spike/RBD-specific B cell immunity in the elderly.

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