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2.
Lancet ; 399(10330): 1141-1153, 2022 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to assess the effectiveness of a single dose of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) in health-care workers in South Africa during two waves of the South African COVID-19 epidemic. METHODS: In the single-arm, open-label, phase 3B implementation Sisonke study, health-care workers aged 18 years and older were invited for vaccination at one of 122 vaccination sites nationally. Participants received a single dose of 5 × 1010 viral particles of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. Vaccinated participants were linked with their person-level data from one of two national medical insurance schemes (scheme A and scheme B) and matched for COVID-19 risk with an unvaccinated member of the general population. The primary outcome was vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID-19, defined as COVID-19-related admission to hospital, hospitalisation requiring critical or intensive care, or death, in health-care workers compared with the general population, ascertained 28 days or more after vaccination or matching, up to data cutoff. This study is registered with the South African National Clinical Trial Registry, DOH-27-022021-6844, ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04838795, and the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry, PACTR202102855526180, and is closed to accrual. FINDINGS: Between Feb 17 and May 17, 2021, 477 102 health-care workers were enrolled and vaccinated, of whom 357 401 (74·9%) were female and 119 701 (25·1%) were male, with a median age of 42·0 years (33·0-51·0). 215 813 vaccinated individuals were matched with 215 813 unvaccinated individuals. As of data cutoff (July 17, 2021), vaccine effectiveness derived from the total matched cohort was 83% (95% CI 75-89) to prevent COVID-19-related deaths, 75% (69-82) to prevent COVID-19-related hospital admissions requiring critical or intensive care, and 67% (62-71) to prevent COVID-19-related hospitalisations. The vaccine effectiveness for all three outcomes were consistent across scheme A and scheme B. The vaccine effectiveness was maintained in older health-care workers and those with comorbidities including HIV infection. During the course of the study, the beta (B.1.351) and then the delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns were dominant, and vaccine effectiveness remained consistent (for scheme A plus B vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related hospital admission during beta wave was 62% [95% CI 42-76] and during delta wave was 67% [62-71], and vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related death during beta wave was 86% [57-100] and during delta wave was 82% [74-89]). INTERPRETATION: The single-dose Ad26.COV2.S vaccine shows effectiveness against severe COVID-19 disease and COVID-19-related death after vaccination, and against both beta and delta variants, providing real-world evidence for its use globally. FUNDING: National Treasury of South Africa, the National Department of Health, Solidarity Response Fund NPC, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Elma Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
3.
Vox Sang ; 117(6): 822-830, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted blood systems worldwide. Challenges included maintaining blood supplies and initiating the collection and use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP). Sharing information on the challenges can help improve blood collection and utilization. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey questionnaire was distributed to International Society of Blood Transfusion members in 95 countries. We recorded respondents' demographic information, impacts on the blood supply, CCP collection and use, transfusion demands and operational challenges. RESULTS: Eighty-two responses from 42 countries, including 24 low- and middle-income countries, were analysed. Participants worked in national (26.8%) and regional (26.8%) blood establishments and hospital-based (42.7%) institutions. CCP collection and transfusion were reported by 63% and 36.6% of respondents, respectively. Decreases in blood donations occurred in 70.6% of collecting facilities. Despite safety measures and recruitment strategies, donor fear and refusal of institutions to host blood drives were major contributing factors. Almost half of respondents working at transfusion medicine services were from large hospitals with over 10,000 red cell transfusions per year, and 76.8% of those hospitals experienced blood shortages. Practices varied in accepting donors for blood or CCP donations after a history of COVID-19 infection, CCP transfusion, or vaccination. Operational challenges included loss of staff, increased workloads and delays in reagent supplies. Almost half of the institutions modified their disaster plans during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The challenges faced by blood systems during the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need for guidance, harmonization, and strengthening of the preparedness and the capacity of blood systems against future infectious threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Blood Banks , Blood Donors , Blood Transfusion , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2552, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692551

ABSTRACT

There is a need for effective therapy for COVID-19 pneumonia. Convalescent plasma has antiviral activity and early observational studies suggested benefit in reducing COVID-19 severity. We investigated the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in a population with a high HIV prevalence and where few therapeutic options were available. We performed a double-blinded, multicenter, randomized controlled trial in one private and three public sector hospitals in South Africa. Adult participants with COVID-19 pneumonia requiring non-invasive oxygen were randomized 1:1 to receive a single transfusion of 200 mL of either convalescent plasma or 0.9% saline solution. The primary outcome measure was hospital discharge and/or improvement of ≥ 2 points on the World Health Organisation Blueprint Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement by day 28 of enrolment. The trial was stopped early for futility by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board. 103 participants, including 21 HIV positive individuals, were randomized at the time of premature trial termination: 52 in the convalescent plasma and 51 in the placebo group. The primary outcome occurred in 31 participants in the convalescent plasma group and and 32 participants in the placebo group (relative risk 1.03 (95% CI 0.77 to 1.38). Two grade 1 transfusion-related adverse events occurred. Participants who improved clinically received convalescent plasma with a higher median anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titre compared with those who did not (298 versus 205 AU/mL). Our study contributes additional evidence for recommendations against the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 pneumonia. Safety and feasibility in this population supports future investigation for other indications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Adult , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Double-Blind Method , Female , HIV Infections/complications , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Placebo Effect , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , South Africa , Treatment Outcome
5.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Global ; 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1560030

ABSTRACT

Background The Janssen-Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is authorised for use in several countries with over 30 million doses administered. Mild and severe allergic adverse events following immunisation(AEFI) have been reported. The aim of this report is to detail allergic reactions reported during the Sisonke phase 3B study in South Africa. Methods A single-dose of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine was administered to 477234 South African Healthcare Workers between 17 February and 17 May 2021. Monitoring of adverse events used a combination of passive reporting and active case finding. Telephonic contact was attempted for all adverse events reported as “allergy”. Anaphylaxis adjudication was performed using the Brighton Collaboration (BCC) and NIAID case definitions. Results Only 251(0.052%) patients reported any allergic-type reaction(less than 1 in 2000), with four cases of adjudicated anaphylaxis (BCC level 1, n=3)(prevalence of 8.4 per million doses). All anaphylaxis cases had a prior history of drug or vaccine-associated anaphylaxis. Cutaneous allergic reactions were the commonest non-anaphylatic reactions and included: self-limiting, transient/localised rashes requiring no healthcare contact(n=92);or isolated urticaria and/or angioedema[n=70 median onset 48(IQR 11.5-120) hours post vaccination] that necessitated healthcare contact(81%), antihistamine(63%), and/or systemic/topical corticosteroid(16%). All immediate (including adjudicated anaphylaxis) and the majority of delayed AEFI(65/69) cases resolved completely. Conclusions Allergic AEFI are rare following a single-dose of Ad26.COV with complete resolution in all cases of anaphylaxis. Though rare, isolated, delayed onset urticaria and/or angioedema was the commonest allergic AEFI requiring treatment, with nearly half occurring in participants without known atopic disease.

6.
Vox Sang ; 116(8): 872-879, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The lack of definitive treatment or preventative options for COVID-19 led many clinicians early on to consider convalescent plasma (CCP) as potentially therapeutic. Regulators, blood centres and hospitals worldwide worked quickly to get CCP to the bedside. Although response was admirable, several areas have been identified to help improve future pandemic management. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multidisciplinary, multinational subgroup from the ISBT Working Group on COVID-19 was tasked with drafting a manuscript that describes the lessons learned pertaining to procurement and administration of CCP, derived from a comprehensive questionnaire within the subgroup. RESULTS: While each country's responses and preparedness for the pandemic varied, there were shared challenges, spanning supply chain disruptions, staffing, impact of social distancing on the collection of regular blood and CCP products, and the availability of screening and confirmatory SARS-CoV-2 testing for donors and patients. The lack of a general framework to organize data gathering across clinical trials and the desire to provide a potentially life-saving therapeutic through compassionate use hampered the collection of much-needed safety and outcome data worldwide. Communication across all stakeholders was identified as being central to reducing confusion. CONCLUSION: The need for flexibility and adaptability remains paramount when dealing with a pandemic. As the world approaches the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic with rising rates worldwide and over 115 million cases and 2·55 million deaths, respectively, it is important to reflect on how to better prepare for future pandemics as we continue to combat the current one.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Transfus Apher Sci ; 60(4): 103207, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1336983

ABSTRACT

Blood transfusions come with risks and high costs, and should be utilized only when clinically indicated. Decisions to transfuse are however not always well informed, and lack of clinician knowledge and education on good clinical transfusion practices contribute to the inappropriate use of blood. Low and middle-income countries in particular take much strain in their efforts to address blood safety challenges, demand-supply imbalances, high blood costs as well as high disease burdens, all of which impact blood usage and blood collections. Patient blood management (PBM), which is a patient-focused approach aimed at improving patient outcomes by preemptively diagnosing and correcting anaemia and limiting blood loss by cell salvage, coagulation optimization and other measures, has become a major approach to addressing many of the challenges mentioned. The associated decrease in the use of blood and blood products may be perceived as being in competition with blood conservation measures, which is the more traditional, but primarily product-focused approach. In this article, we hope to convey the message that PBM and blood conservation should not be seen as competing concepts, but rather complimentary strategies with the common goal of improving patient care. This offers opportunity to improve the culture of transfusion practices with relief to blood establishments and clinical services, not only in South Africa and LMICs, but everywhere. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting blood supplies worldwide, this is an ideal time to call for educational interventions and awareness as an active strategy to improve transfusion practices, immediately and beyond.


Subject(s)
Blood Banks/organization & administration , Blood Transfusion , Bloodless Medical and Surgical Procedures , Anemia/therapy , Blood Banks/economics , Blood Loss, Surgical , Blood Safety , Blood Transfusion/economics , Blood-Borne Infections/prevention & control , Bloodless Medical and Surgical Procedures/economics , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Developing Countries , Donor Selection/economics , Evidence-Based Medicine , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Postpartum Hemorrhage/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy , Prevalence , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology , Transfusion Medicine/education
10.
Leuk Lymphoma ; 61(14): 3417-3421, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-759769

ABSTRACT

Infectious disease epidemics may overshadow and exacerbate existing challenges in diagnosing lymphoma. We describe pragmatic strategies we have implemented to overcome diagnostic obstacles caused by the local tuberculosis (TB) and HIV epidemics in South Africa, which may serve as a guide to minimize diagnostic delay during the COVID-19 pandemic. We report on the diagnostic utility of a rapid-access lymph node core-biopsy clinic, where lymph node biopsies are taken from outpatients at their first visit. Analysis of tissue biopsies (n = 110) revealed the three most common conditions diagnosed were TB adenitis (34%), lymphoma (29%), and disseminated malignancy (20%). A first-attempt core-biopsy was able to diagnose lymphoma in 27/32 (84%) of cases. Compared with a historical cohort, the diagnostic interval (time from first health visit to diagnostic biopsy) for patients with lymphoma was significantly shorter, 13.5 vs 48 days (p = 0.002).


Subject(s)
Coinfection , HIV Infections/complications , Lymphoma/complications , Lymphoma/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/complications , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delayed Diagnosis , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Lymphoma/epidemiology , Lymphoma/etiology , Male , Middle Aged , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis, Lymph Node/pathology
11.
Anesth Analg ; 131(1): 74-85, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-23192

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a pandemic. Global health care now faces unprecedented challenges with widespread and rapid human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and high morbidity and mortality with COVID-19 worldwide. Across the world, medical care is hampered by a critical shortage of not only hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment, ventilators, and hospital beds, but also impediments to the blood supply. Blood donation centers in many areas around the globe have mostly closed. Donors, practicing social distancing, some either with illness or undergoing self-quarantine, are quickly diminishing. Drastic public health initiatives have focused on containment and "flattening the curve" while invaluable resources are being depleted. In some countries, the point has been reached at which the demand for such resources, including donor blood, outstrips the supply. Questions as to the safety of blood persist. Although it does not appear very likely that the virus can be transmitted through allogeneic blood transfusion, this still remains to be fully determined. As options dwindle, we must enact regional and national shortage plans worldwide and more vitally disseminate the knowledge of and immediately implement patient blood management (PBM). PBM is an evidence-based bundle of care to optimize medical and surgical patient outcomes by clinically managing and preserving a patient's own blood. This multinational and diverse group of authors issue this "Call to Action" underscoring "The Essential Role of Patient Blood Management in the Management of Pandemics" and urging all stakeholders and providers to implement the practical and commonsense principles of PBM and its multiprofessional and multimodality approaches.


Subject(s)
Blood Banks/organization & administration , Blood Transfusion , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission
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