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1.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1799641

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Since its emergence in November, 2021, in southern Africa, the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant of concern (VOC) has rapidly spread across the world. We aimed to investigate the severity of omicron and the extent to which booster vaccines are effective in preventing symptomatic infection. Methods In this study, using the Scotland-wide Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) platform, we did a cohort analysis with a nested test-negative design incident case-control study covering the period Nov 1–Dec 19, 2021, to provide initial estimates of omicron severity and the effectiveness of vaccine boosters against symptomatic disease relative to 25 weeks or more after the second vaccine dose. Primary care data derived from 940 general practices across Scotland were linked to laboratory data and hospital admission data. We compared outcomes between infection with the delta VOC (defined as S-gene positive) and the omicron VOC (defined as S-gene negative). We assessed effectiveness against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, with infection confirmed through a positive RT-PCR. Findings By Dec 19, 2021, there were 23 840 S-gene-negative cases in Scotland, which were predominantly among those aged 20–39 years (11 732 [49·2%]). The proportion of S-gene-negative cases that were possible reinfections was more than ten times that of S-gene-positive cases (7·6% vs 0·7%;p<0·0001). There were 15 hospital admissions in S-gene-negative individuals, giving an adjusted observed-to-expected admissions ratio of 0·32 (95% CI 0·19–0·52). The booster vaccine dose was associated with a 57% (54–60) reduction in the risk of symptomatic S-gene-negative infection relative to individuals who tested positive 25 weeks or more after the second vaccine dose. Interpretation These early national data suggest that omicron is associated with a two-thirds reduction in the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation compared with delta. Although offering the greatest protection against delta, the booster dose of vaccination offers substantial additional protection against the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 for omicron compared with 25 weeks or more after the second vaccine dose. Funding Health Data Research UK, National Core Studies, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Government, UK Research and Innovation, and University of Edinburgh.

2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(15)2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793107

ABSTRACT

BackgroundHouseholds appear to be the highest risk setting for COVID-19 transmission. Large household transmission studies in the early stages of the pandemic in Asia reported secondary attack rates ranging from 5 to 30%.AimWe aimed to investigate the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in household and community settings in the UK.MethodsA prospective case-ascertained study design based on the World Health Organization FFX protocol was undertaken in the UK following the detection of the first case in late January 2020. Household contacts of cases were followed using enhanced surveillance forms to establish whether they developed symptoms of COVID-19, became confirmed cases and their outcomes. We estimated household secondary attack rates (SAR), serial intervals and individual and household basic reproduction numbers. The incubation period was estimated using known point source exposures that resulted in secondary cases.ResultsWe included 233 households with two or more people with 472 contacts. The overall household SAR was 37% (95% CI: 31-43%) with a mean serial interval of 4.67 days, an R0 of 1.85 and a household reproduction number of 2.33. SAR were lower in larger households and highest when the primary case was younger than 18 years. We estimated a mean incubation period of around 4.5 days.ConclusionsRates of COVID-19 household transmission were high in the UK for ages above and under 18 years, emphasising the need for preventative measures in this setting. This study highlights the importance of the FFX protocol in providing early insights on transmission dynamics.

3.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003927, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several countries restricted the administration of ChAdOx1 to older age groups in 2021 over safety concerns following case reports and observed versus expected analyses suggesting a possible association with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). Large datasets are required to precisely estimate the association between Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and CVST due to the extreme rarity of this event. We aimed to accomplish this by combining national data from England, Scotland, and Wales. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We created data platforms consisting of linked primary care, secondary care, mortality, and virological testing data in each of England, Scotland, and Wales, with a combined cohort of 11,637,157 people and 6,808,293 person years of follow-up. The cohort start date was December 8, 2020, and the end date was June 30, 2021. The outcome measure we examined was incident CVST events recorded in either primary or secondary care records. We carried out a self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis of this outcome following first dose vaccination with ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2. The observation period consisted of an initial 90-day reference period, followed by a 2-week prerisk period directly prior to vaccination, and a 4-week risk period following vaccination. Counts of CVST cases from each country were tallied, then expanded into a full dataset with 1 row for each individual and observation time period. There was a combined total of 201 incident CVST events in the cohorts (29.5 per million person years). There were 81 CVST events in the observation period among those who a received first dose of ChAdOx1 (approximately 16.34 per million doses) and 40 for those who received a first dose of BNT162b2 (approximately 12.60 per million doses). We fitted conditional Poisson models to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Vaccination with ChAdOx1 was associated with an elevated risk of incident CVST events in the 28 days following vaccination, IRR = 1.93 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 to 3.11). We did not find an association between BNT162b2 and CVST in the 28 days following vaccination, IRR = 0.78 (95% CI 0.34 to 1.77). Our study had some limitations. The SCCS study design implicitly controls for variables that are constant over the observation period, but also assumes that outcome events are independent of exposure. This assumption may not be satisfied in the case of CVST, firstly because it is a serious adverse event, and secondly because the vaccination programme in the United Kingdom prioritised the clinically extremely vulnerable and those with underlying health conditions, which may have caused a selection effect for individuals more prone to CVST. Although we pooled data from several large datasets, there was still a low number of events, which may have caused imprecision in our estimates. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed a small elevated risk of CVST events following vaccination with ChAdOx1, but not BNT162b2. Our analysis pooled information from large datasets from England, Scotland, and Wales. This evidence may be useful in risk-benefit analyses of vaccine policies and in providing quantification of risks associated with vaccination to the general public.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/etiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Wales
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e050062, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691320

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in December 2019, has caused millions of deaths and severe illness worldwide. Numerous vaccines are currently under development of which a few have now been authorised for population-level administration by several countries. As of 20 September 2021, over 48 million people have received their first vaccine dose and over 44 million people have received their second vaccine dose across the UK. We aim to assess the uptake rates, effectiveness, and safety of all currently approved COVID-19 vaccines in the UK. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will use prospective cohort study designs to assess vaccine uptake, effectiveness and safety against clinical outcomes and deaths. Test-negative case-control study design will be used to assess vaccine effectiveness (VE) against laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Self-controlled case series and retrospective cohort study designs will be carried out to assess vaccine safety against mild-to-moderate and severe adverse events, respectively. Individual-level pseudonymised data from primary care, secondary care, laboratory test and death records will be linked and analysed in secure research environments in each UK nation. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models will be carried out to estimate vaccine uptake levels in relation to various population characteristics. VE estimates against laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection will be generated using a generalised additive logistic model. Time-dependent Cox models will be used to estimate the VE against clinical outcomes and deaths. The safety of the vaccines will be assessed using logistic regression models with an offset for the length of the risk period. Where possible, data will be meta-analysed across the UK nations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: We obtained approvals from the National Research Ethics Service Committee, Southeast Scotland 02 (12/SS/0201), the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage independent Information Governance Review Panel project number 0911. Concerning English data, University of Oxford is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation and the National Health Service (NHS) Digital Data Security and Protection Policy. This is an approved study (Integrated Research Application ID 301740, Health Research Authority (HRA) Research Ethics Committee 21/HRA/2786). The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Informatics Digital Hub meets NHS Digital's Data Security and Protection Toolkit requirements. In Northern Ireland, the project was approved by the Honest Broker Governance Board, project number 0064. Findings will be made available to national policy-makers, presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , State Medicine
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323239

ABSTRACT

Background: The BNT162b2 mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy against infection in phase 3 clinical trials and are now being used in national vaccination programmes in the UK and several other countries. There is an urgent need to study the ‘real-world’ effects of these vaccines. The aim of our study was to estimate the effectiveness of the first dose of these COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospital admissions.Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study using the Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) database comprising of linked vaccination, primary care, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing, hospitalisation and mortality records for 5.4 million people in Scotland (covering ~99% of population). A time-dependent Cox model and Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate effectiveness against COVID-19 related hospitalisation (defined as 1- Adjusted Hazard Ratio) following the first dose of vaccine.Findings: The first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine was associated with a vaccine effect of 85% (95% confidence interval [CI] 76 to 91) for COVID-19 related hospitalisation at 28-34 days post-vaccination. Vaccine effect at the same time interval for the ChAdOx1 vaccine was 94% (95% CI 73 to 99). Results of combined vaccine effect for prevention of COVID-19 related hospitalisation were comparable when restricting the analysis to those aged ≥80 years (81%;95% CI 65 to 90 at 28-34 days post-vaccination).Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 vaccines resulted in substantial reductions in the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisation in Scotland.Funding: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council);Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;Health Data Research UK.Conflict of Interest: AS is a member of the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer’s COVID-19Advisory Group and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) Risk Stratification Subgroup. CRS declares funding from the MRC, NIHR, CSO and New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and Health Research Council during the conduct of this study. SVK is co-chair of the Scottish Government’s Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and ethnicity, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) subgroup on ethnicity and acknowledges funding from a NRS Senior Clinical Fellowship, MRC and CSO. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.Ethical Approval: Approvals were obtained from the National Research Ethics Service Committee, Southeast Scotland 02 (reference number: 12/SS/0201) and Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care (reference number: 1920-0279).

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321605

ABSTRACT

Background: The QCovid algorithm is a risk prediction tool for COVID-19 hospitalisation and mortality that can be used to stratify patients by risk into vulnerability groups . We carried out an external validation of the QCovid algorithm in Scotland.Methods: We established a national COVID-19 data platform using individual level data for the population of Scotland (5.4 million residents). Primary care data were linked to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) virology testing, hospitalisation and mortality data. We assessed the performance of the QCovid algorithm in predicting COVID-19 hospitalisation and deaths in our dataset for two time periods: 1 March, 2020 to 30 April, 2020, and 1 May, 2020 to 30 June, 2020.Findings: Our dataset comprised 5,384,819 individuals, representing 99% of the estimated population (5,463,300) resident in Scotland in 2020. The algorithm showed excellent calibration in both time periods with close correspondence between observed and predicted risks. Harrell ’s C for deaths in males and females in the first period was 0.946 (95% CI: 0.941 - 0.951) and 0.925 (95% CI: 0.919 - 0.931) respectively. Harrell’s C for hospitalisations in males and females in the first period was 0.809 (95% CI: 0.801 - 0.817) and 0.816 (95% CI: 0.808 - 0.823) respectively.Interpretation: The QCovid algorithm shows high levels of external validity in predicting the risk of COVID- 19 hospitalisation and death in the population of Scotland.Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, funded through the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Health Data Research UK.Declaration of Interests: Dr. Hippisley-Cox reports grants from MRC, grants from Wellcome Trrust, grants from NIHR, during the conduct of the study;other from ClinRisk Ltd, outside the submitted work. Dr. Sheikh reports grants from NIHR, grants from MRC, grants from HRR UK, during the conduct of the study. All other authors report no conflict of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical permission for this study was granted from South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 02 [12/SS/0201]. The Public Benefit and Privacy Panel Committee of Public Health Scotland, approved the linkage and analysis of the de-identified datasets for this project [1920-0279].

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316787

ABSTRACT

Background: Although COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to have high efficacy in the general population, it has not been established whether this applies to vulnerable groups. The objective of this study was to estimate the efficacy of vaccination in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 among those designated as clinically extremely vulnerable in Scotland. Methods: : In a matched case-control design (REACT-SCOT), all 111295 cases of COVID-19 in Scotland diagnosed from 1 December 2020 to 16 March 2021 were matched for age, sex and primary care practice to 1093449 controls from the general population. This was linked to national data on vaccinations and those designated as clinically extremely vulnerable and thus eligible for shielding support. Severe COVID-19 was defined as cases with entry to critical care or fatal outcome. Rate ratios associated with vaccination within risk groups were estimated by conditional logistic regression. Results: : The rate ratio for severe COVID-19 associated with vaccination at least 14 days before was 0.29 (95% CI 0.22 to 0.37) in those eligible for shielding, compared with 0.29 (95% CI 0.25 to 0.34) in those ineligible for shielding. The rate ratio for hospitalized or fatal COVID-19 was 0.39 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.46) in those eligible and 0.37 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.41) in those not eligible for shielding. Examined by specific shielding conditions, the rate ratio for hospitalized or fatal COVID-19 ranged from 0.33 (95% CI 0.21 to 0.51) in those with specific cancers to 0.74 (95% CI 0.36 to 1.51) in solid organ transplant recipients, and 0.53 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.84) in others on immunosuppressants (excluding solid organ transplant recipients). Conclusions: : These results are reassuring with respect to efficacy in clinically vulnerable individuals including immunocompromised individuals, but studies in larger populations are needed to estimate efficacy in solid organ transplant recipients.

8.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1275, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635338

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To investigate the association of primary acute cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) with COVID-19 vaccination through complete ascertainment of all diagnosed CVT in the population of Scotland. METHODS: Case-crossover study comparing cases of CVT recently exposed to vaccination (1-14 days after vaccination) with cases less recently exposed. Cases in Scotland from 1 December 2020 were ascertained through neuroimaging studies up to 17 May 2021 and diagnostic coding of hospital discharges up to 28 April 2021, linked to national vaccination records. The main outcome measure was primary acute CVT. RESULTS: Of 50 primary acute CVT cases, 29 were ascertained only from neuroimaging studies, 2 were ascertained only from hospital discharges, and 19 were ascertained from both sources. Of these 50 cases, 14 had received the Astra-Zeneca ChAdOx1 vaccine and 3 the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine. The incidence of CVT per million doses in the first 14 days after vaccination was 2.2 (95% credible interval 0.9 to 4.1) for ChAdOx1 and 1 (95% credible interval 0.1 to 2.9) for BNT162b2. The rate ratio for CVT associated with exposure to ChAdOx1 in the first 14 days compared with exposure 15-84 days after vaccination was 3.2 (95% credible interval 1.1 to 9.5). CONCLUSIONS: These findings support a causal association between CVT and the AstraZeneca vaccine. The absolute risk of post-vaccination CVT in this population-wide study in Scotland was lower than has been reported for populations in Scandinavia and Germany; the explanation for this is not clear.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Venous Thrombosis , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Over Studies , Humans , Neuroimaging , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Vaccination , Venous Thrombosis/diagnostic imaging , Venous Thrombosis/epidemiology
9.
Lancet ; 399(10319): 25-35, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586218

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reports suggest that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness is decreasing, but whether this reflects waning or new SARS-CoV-2 variants-especially delta (B.1.617.2)-is unclear. We investigated the association between time since two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in Scotland (where delta was dominant), with comparative analyses in Brazil (where delta was uncommon). METHODS: In this retrospective, population-based cohort study in Brazil and Scotland, we linked national databases from the EAVE II study in Scotland; and the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Acute Respiratory Infection Suspected Cases, and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection/Illness datasets in Brazil) for vaccination, laboratory testing, clinical, and mortality data. We defined cohorts of adults (aged ≥18 years) who received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and compared rates of severe COVID-19 outcomes (ie, COVID-19 hospital admission or death) across fortnightly periods, relative to 2-3 weeks after the second dose. Entry to the Scotland cohort started from May 19, 2021, and entry to the Brazil cohort started from Jan 18, 2021. Follow-up in both cohorts was until Oct 25, 2021. Poisson regression was used to estimate rate ratios (RRs) and vaccine effectiveness, with 95% CIs. FINDINGS: 1 972 454 adults received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in Scotland and 42 558 839 in Brazil, with longer follow-up in Scotland because two-dose vaccination began earlier in Scotland than in Brazil. In Scotland, RRs for severe COVID-19 increased to 2·01 (95% CI 1·54-2·62) at 10-11 weeks, 3·01 (2·26-3·99) at 14-15 weeks, and 5·43 (4·00-7·38) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. The pattern of results was similar in Brazil, with RRs of 2·29 (2·01-2·61) at 10-11 weeks, 3·10 (2·63-3·64) at 14-15 weeks, and 4·71 (3·83-5·78) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. In Scotland, vaccine effectiveness decreased from 83·7% (95% CI 79·7-87·0) at 2-3 weeks, to 75·9% (72·9-78·6) at 14-15 weeks, and 63·7% (59·6-67·4) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. In Brazil, vaccine effectiveness decreased from 86·4% (85·4-87·3) at 2-3 weeks, to 59·7% (54·6-64·2) at 14-15 weeks, and 42·2% (32·4-50·6) at 18-19 weeks. INTERPRETATION: We found waning vaccine protection of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths in both Scotland and Brazil, this becoming evident within three months of the second vaccine dose. Consideration needs to be given to providing booster vaccine doses for people who have received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council), Scottish Government, Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, Fiocruz, Fazer o Bem Faz Bem Programme; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , /administration & dosage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Scotland/epidemiology , Time Factors , Vaccination
10.
Euro Surveill ; 26(47)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538334

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, over 1.5 million SARS-CoV-2-related fatalities have been recorded in the World Health Organization European Region - 90.2% in people ≥ 60 years. We calculated lives saved in this age group by COVID-19 vaccination in 33 countries from December 2020 to November 2021, using weekly reported deaths and vaccination coverage. We estimated that vaccination averted 469,186 deaths (51% of 911,302 expected deaths; sensitivity range: 129,851-733,744; 23-62%). Impact by country ranged 6-93%, largest when implementation was early.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , World Health Organization
11.
The Lancet ; 398, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1537154

ABSTRACT

Background A strong association between deprivation and severe COVID-19 outcomes has been reported among adults. We estimated population-based rates of SARS-CoV-2 testing, laboratory-confirmed infections, and hospital admissions with COVID-19 in children and young people (aged 0–23 years) in Scotland according to sociodemographic risk factors. Methods We used a birth cohort of all children and young people born in Scotland in 1997–2020, consisting of linked vital registration, maternity, hospital admissions, and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing data. Participants were followed from birth or Jan 1, 2020 (whichever occurred last) until Dec 31, 2020, death, or emigration. Admissions with COVID-19 were defined as participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during or up to 28 days before admission to hospital, or a relevant International Classification of Diseases version 10 code recorded (U07.1/U07.2). We calculated crude rates of tests, laboratory-confirmed infections, and admissions, by age group, sex, and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintiles with 95% CIs. Findings The cohort included 1 230 290 children and young people living in Scotland during 2020. By Dec 31, 2020, 243 958 (19·8%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 at least once, and 17 709 (7·3%) had tested positive. Infants (aged <2 years) and 18–23-year-olds were most likely to be tested;there was no clear trend in testing rates by SIMD quintile. 18–23-year-olds, females, and those from the most deprived SIMD quintile were most likely to test positive. 379 participants had an admission with COVID-19, corresponding to a rate of 32·0 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 28·9–35·4). Females (admission rate 35·4 per 100 000 person-years [95% CI 30·9–40·6]) and infants (143·5 per 100 000 person-years [113·3–181·7]) were most likely to be admitted to hospital. There was a clear gradient in hospital admissions by SIMD, with participants in the most deprived quintile (42·9 per 100 000 person-years [36·1–50·8]) experiencing 1·9 times (95% CI 1·3–2·6) the admission rate compared with those in the least deprived (22·6 per 100 000 person-years [16·9–30·3]). Interpretation Rates of infection and admissions with COVID-19 were associated with area-level deprivation among children and young people. Infants had a relatively low infection rate but the highest admission rate. Analyses examining risk factors, including ethnic group and long-term conditions are underway, to inform the public health response to SARS-CoV-2 in children. Although children and young people in Scotland had low COVID-19-related admission rates versus adults, a socioeconomic gradient was evident, indicating children living in more deprived areas are at increased risk of short-term, and potential long-term, health and education impacts of COVID-19. Funding UKRI Medical Research Council and the Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre.

12.
Thorax ; 77(5): 497-504, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526530

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The QCovid algorithm is a risk prediction tool that can be used to stratify individuals by risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation and mortality. Version 1 of the algorithm was trained using data covering 10.5 million patients in England in the period 24 January 2020 to 30 April 2020. We carried out an external validation of version 1 of the QCovid algorithm in Scotland. METHODS: We established a national COVID-19 data platform using individual level data for the population of Scotland (5.4 million residents). Primary care data were linked to reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) virology testing, hospitalisation and mortality data. We assessed the performance of the QCovid algorithm in predicting COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in our dataset for two time periods matching the original study: 1 March 2020 to 30 April 2020, and 1 May 2020 to 30 June 2020. RESULTS: Our dataset comprised 5 384 819 individuals, representing 99% of the estimated population (5 463 300) resident in Scotland in 2020. The algorithm showed good calibration in the first period, but systematic overestimation of risk in the second period, prior to temporal recalibration. Harrell's C for deaths in females and males in the first period was 0.95 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.95) and 0.93 (95% CI 0.92 to 0.93), respectively. Harrell's C for hospitalisations in females and males in the first period was 0.81 (95% CI 0.80 to 0.82) and 0.82 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.82), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Version 1 of the QCovid algorithm showed high levels of discrimination in predicting the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in adults resident in Scotland for the original two time periods studied, but is likely to need ongoing recalibration prospectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Algorithms , Calibration , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Scotland/epidemiology
14.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(12): 1439-1449, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440430

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The UK COVID-19 vaccination programme has prioritised vaccination of those at the highest risk of COVID-19 mortality and hospitalisation. The programme was rolled out in Scotland during winter 2020-21, when SARS-CoV-2 infection rates were at their highest since the pandemic started, despite social distancing measures being in place. We aimed to estimate the frequency of COVID-19 hospitalisation or death in people who received at least one vaccine dose and characterise these individuals. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study using the Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) national surveillance platform, which contained linked vaccination, primary care, RT-PCR testing, hospitalisation, and mortality records for 5·4 million people (around 99% of the population) in Scotland. Individuals were followed up from receiving their first dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccines until admission to hospital for COVID-19, death, or the end of the study period on April 18, 2021. We used a time-dependent Poisson regression model to estimate rate ratios (RRs) for demographic and clinical factors associated with COVID-19 hospitalisation or death 14 days or more after the first vaccine dose, stratified by vaccine type. FINDINGS: Between Dec 8, 2020, and April 18, 2021, 2 572 008 individuals received their first dose of vaccine-841 090 (32·7%) received BNT162b2 and 1 730 918 (67·3%) received ChAdOx1. 1196 (<0·1%) individuals were admitted to hospital or died due to COVID-19 illness (883 hospitalised, of whom 228 died, and 313 who died due to COVID-19 without hospitalisation) 14 days or more after their first vaccine dose. These severe COVID-19 outcomes were associated with older age (≥80 years vs 18-64 years adjusted RR 4·75, 95% CI 3·85-5·87), comorbidities (five or more risk groups vs less than five risk groups 4·24, 3·34-5·39), hospitalisation in the previous 4 weeks (3·00, 2·47-3·65), high-risk occupations (ten or more previous COVID-19 tests vs less than ten previous COVID-19 tests 2·14, 1·62-2·81), care home residence (1·63, 1·32-2·02), socioeconomic deprivation (most deprived quintile vs least deprived quintile 1·57, 1·30-1·90), being male (1·27, 1·13-1·43), and being an ex-smoker (ex-smoker vs non-smoker 1·18, 1·01-1·38). A history of COVID-19 before vaccination was protective (0·40, 0·29-0·54). INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths were uncommon 14 days or more after the first vaccine dose in this national analysis in the context of a high background incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and with extensive social distancing measures in place. Sociodemographic and clinical features known to increase the risk of severe disease in unvaccinated populations were also associated with severe outcomes in people receiving their first dose of vaccine and could help inform case management and future vaccine policy formulation. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council), Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Scottish Government, and Health Data Research UK.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Vaccination , Young Adult
16.
Euro Surveill ; 26(31)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346381

ABSTRACT

Public Health Scotland used Scottish national contact tracing data to estimate the European football championship (EURO 2020) contributions to a third wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections. From 11 June to 7 July 2021, 2,632 (4%) of 63,874 SARS-CoV-2 cases self-reported attending a EURO 2020 event; 90% were male, of whom 73% were 20-39-year-olds. Most cases attended unofficial gatherings and averaged more contacts than the general population. Targeted guidance on celebrating safely in closed spaces is key.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Football , Contact Tracing , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
17.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(8): e517-e525, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294384

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, national-level surveillance platforms with real-time individual person-level data are required to monitor and predict the epidemiological and clinical profile of COVID-19 and inform public health policy. We aimed to create a national dataset of patient-level data in Scotland to identify temporal trends and COVID-19 risk factors, and to develop a novel statistical prediction model to forecast COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalisations during the second wave. METHODS: We established a surveillance platform to monitor COVID-19 temporal trends using person-level primary care data (including age, sex, socioeconomic status, urban or rural residence, care home residence, and clinical risk factors) linked to data on SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests, hospitalisations, and deaths for all individuals resident in Scotland who were registered with a general practice on Feb 23, 2020. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the association between clinical risk groups and time to hospitalisation and death. A survival prediction model derived from data from March 1 to June 23, 2020, was created to forecast hospital admissions and deaths from October to December, 2020. We fitted a generalised additive spline model to daily SARS-CoV-2 cases over the previous 10 weeks and used this to create a 28-day forecast of the number of daily cases. The age and risk group pattern of cases in the previous 3 weeks was then used to select a stratified sample of individuals from our cohort who had not previously tested positive, with future cases in each group sampled from a multinomial distribution. We then used their patient characteristics (including age, sex, comorbidities, and socioeconomic status) to predict their probability of hospitalisation or death. FINDINGS: Our cohort included 5 384 819 people, representing 98·6% of the entire estimated population residing in Scotland during 2020. Hospitalisation and death among those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1 and June 23, 2020, were associated with several patient characteristics, including male sex (hospitalisation hazard ratio [HR] 1·47, 95% CI 1·38-1·57; death HR 1·62, 1·49-1·76) and various comorbidities, with the highest hospitalisation HR found for transplantation (4·53, 1·87-10·98) and the highest death HR for myoneural disease (2·33, 1·46-3·71). For those testing positive, there were decreasing temporal trends in hospitalisation and death rates. The proportion of positive tests among older age groups (>40 years) and those with at-risk comorbidities increased during October, 2020. On Nov 10, 2020, the projected number of hospitalisations for Dec 8, 2020 (28 days later) was 90 per day (95% prediction interval 55-125) and the projected number of deaths was 21 per day (12-29). INTERPRETATION: The estimated incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on positive tests recorded in this unique data resource has provided forecasts of hospitalisation and death rates for the whole of Scotland. These findings were used by the Scottish Government to inform their response to reduce COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. FUNDING: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, Scottish Government Director General Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Forecasting , Hospitalization , Models, Statistical , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/trends , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity/trends , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Information Storage and Retrieval , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Scotland/epidemiology , Sex Factors
18.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 149, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clinically vulnerable individuals have been advised to shield themselves during the COVID-19 epidemic. The objectives of this study were to investigate (1) the rate ratio of severe COVID-19 associated with eligibility for the shielding programme in Scotland across the first and second waves of the epidemic and (2) the relation of severe COVID-19 to transmission-related factors in those in shielding and the general population. METHODS: In a matched case-control design, all 178,578 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Scotland from 1 March 2020 to 18 February 2021 were matched for age, sex and primary care practice to 1,744,283 controls from the general population. This dataset (REACT-SCOT) was linked to the list of 212,702 individuals identified as eligible for shielding. Severe COVID-19 was defined as cases that entered critical care or were fatal. Rate ratios were estimated by conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: With those without risk conditions as reference category, the univariate rate ratio for severe COVID-19 was 3.21 (95% CI 3.01 to 3.41) in those with moderate risk conditions and 6.3 (95% CI 5.8 to 6.8) in those eligible for shielding. The highest rate was in solid organ transplant recipients: rate ratio 13.4 (95% CI 9.6 to 18.8). Risk of severe COVID-19 increased with the number of adults but decreased with the number of school-age children in the household. Severe COVID-19 was strongly associated with recent exposure to hospital (defined as 5 to 14 days before presentation date): rate ratio 12.3 (95% CI 11.5 to 13.2) overall. The population attributable risk fraction for recent exposure to hospital peaked at 50% in May 2020 and again at 65% in December 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of shielding vulnerable individuals was limited by the inability to control transmission in hospital and from other adults in the household. Mitigating the impact of the epidemic requires control of nosocomial transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Critical Care , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Pregnancy , Primary Health Care , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
20.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(3): 178-189, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256313

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical presentation, course of disease and health-care seeking behaviour of the first few hundred cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. METHODS: We implemented the World Health Organization's First Few X cases and contacts investigation protocol for COVID-19. Trained public health professionals collected information on 381 virologically confirmed COVID-19 cases from 31 January 2020 to 9 April 2020. We actively followed up cases to identify exposure to infection, symptoms and outcomes. We also collected limited data on 752 symptomatic people testing negative for COVID-19, as a control group for analyses of the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of symptoms. FINDINGS: Approximately half of the COVID-19 cases were imported (196 cases; 51.4%), of whom the majority had recent travel to Italy (140 cases; 71.4%). Of the 94 (24.7%) secondary cases, almost all reported close contact with a confirmed case (93 cases; 98.9%), many through household contact (37 cases; 39.8%). By age, a lower proportion of children had COVID-19. Most cases presented with cough, fever and fatigue. The sensitivity and specificity of symptoms varied by age, with nonlinear relationships with age. Although the proportion of COVID-19 cases with fever increased with age, for those with other respiratory infections the occurrence of fever decreased with age. The occurrence of shortness of breath also increased with age in a greater proportion of COVID-19 cases. CONCLUSION: The study has provided useful evidence for generating case definitions and has informed modelling studies of the likely burden of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
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