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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1639, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758236

ABSTRACT

Small trials have suggested that heterologous vaccination with first-dose ChAdOx1 and second-dose BNT162b2 may generate a better immune response than homologous vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. In this cohort analysis, we use linked data from Catalonia (Spain), where those aged <60 who received a first dose of ChAdOx1 could choose between ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2 for their second dose. Comparable cohorts were obtained after exact-matching 14,325/17,849 (80.3%) people receiving heterologous vaccination to 14,325/149,386 (9.6%) receiving homologous vaccination by age, sex, region, and date of second dose. Of these, 464 (3.2%) in the heterologous and 694 (4.8%) in the homologous groups developed COVID-19 between 1st June 2021 and 5th December 2021. The resulting hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) is 0.66 [0.59-0.74], favouring heterologous vaccination. The two groups had similar testing rates and safety outcomes. Sensitivity and negative control outcome analyses confirm these findings. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a heterologous vaccination schedule with ChAdOx1 followed by BNT162b2 was more efficacious than and similarly safe to homologous vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Most of the infections in our study occurred when Delta was the predominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Spain. These data agree with previous phase 2 randomised trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , /therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , /therapeutic use , Humans , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/methods
2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263741, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690714

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite their clear lesser vulnerability to COVID-19, the extent by which children are susceptible to getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 and their capacity to transmit the infection to other people remains inadequately characterized. We aimed to evaluate the role of school reopening and the preventive strategies in place at schools in terms of overall risk for children and community transmission, by comparing transmission rates in children as detected by a COVID-19 surveillance platform in place in Catalonian Schools to the incidence at the community level. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Infections detected in Catalan schools during the entire first trimester of classes (September-December 2020) were analysed and compared with the ongoing community transmission and with the modelled predicted number of infections. There were 30.486 infections (2.12%) documented among the circa 1.5M pupils, with cases detected in 54.0% and 97.5% of the primary and secondary centres, respectively. During the entire first term, the proportion of "bubble groups" (stable groups of children doing activities together) that were forced to undergo confinement ranged between 1 and 5%, with scarce evidence of substantial intraschool transmission in the form of chains of infections, and with ~75% of all detected infections not leading to secondary cases. Mathematical models were also used to evaluate the effect of different parameters related to the defined preventive strategies (size of the bubble group, number of days of confinement required by contacts of an index case). The effective reproduction number inside the bubble groups in schools (R*), defined as the average number of schoolmates infected by each primary case within the bubble, was calculated, yielding a value of 0.35 for primary schools and 0.55 for secondary schools, and compared with the outcomes of the mathematical model, implying decreased transmissibility for children in the context of the applied measures. Relative homogenized monthly cumulative incidence ([Formula: see text]) was assessed to compare the epidemiological dynamics among different age groups and this analysis suggested the limited impact of infections in school-aged children in the context of the overall community incidence. CONCLUSIONS: During the fall of 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases detected in Catalan schools closely mirrored the underlying community transmission from the neighbourhoods where they were set and maintaining schools open appeared to be safe irrespective of underlying community transmission. Preventive measures in place in those schools appeared to be working for the early detection and rapid containment of transmission and should be maintained for the adequate and safe functioning of normal academic and face-to-face school activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Residence Characteristics , Schools , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Models, Theoretical , Spain/epidemiology
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292668

ABSTRACT

Small trials have suggested that heterologous vaccination with first-dose ChAdOx1 and second-dose BNT162b2 may generate a better immune response than homologous vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. We used linked data from Catalonia (Spain), where those aged <60 who received a first dose of ChAdOx1 could choose between ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2 for their second dose. Comparable cohorts were obtained after exact-matching 14,325/17,849 (80.3%) people receiving heterologous vaccination to 14,325/149,386 (9.6%) receiving homologous vaccination by age, sex, region, and date of second dose. Of these, 238 (1.7%) in the heterologous and 389 (2.7%) in the homologous groups developed COVID-19 between 1st June 2021 and 11th October 2021. The resulting hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) was 0.61 [ 0.52-0.71 ], favouring heterologous vaccination, with a Number Needed to Treat of 94.9 [ 71.8 - 139.8 ]. The two groups had similar testing rates and safety outcomes. Sensitivity and negative control outcome analyses confirmed these findings. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a heterologous vaccination schedule with ChAdOx1 followed by BNT162b2 was more efficacious than and similarly safe to homologous vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Most of the infections in our study occurred when Delta was the predominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Spain. These data agree with previous phase 2 randomised trials.

4.
BMJ ; 374: n1868, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365155

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine associations of BNT162b2 vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospital admission and death with covid-19 among nursing home residents, nursing home staff, and healthcare workers. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Nursing homes and linked electronic medical record, test, and mortality data in Catalonia on 27 December 2020. PARTICIPANTS: 28 456 nursing home residents, 26 170 nursing home staff, and 61 791 healthcare workers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants were followed until the earliest outcome (confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospital admission or death with covid-19) or 26 May 2021. Vaccination status was introduced as a time varying exposure, with a 14 day run-in after the first dose. Mixed effects Cox models were fitted to estimate hazard ratios with index month as a fixed effect and adjusted for confounders including sociodemographics, comorbidity, and previous medicine use. RESULTS: Among the nursing home residents, SARS-CoV-2 infection was found in 2482, 411 were admitted to hospital with covid-19, and 450 died with covid-19 during the study period. In parallel, 1828 nursing home staff and 2968 healthcare workers were found to have SARS-CoV-2 infection, but fewer than five were admitted or died with covid-19. The adjusted hazard ratio for SARS-CoV-2 infection after two doses of vaccine was 0.09 (95% confidence interval 0.08 to 0.11) for nursing home residents, 0.20 (0.17 to 0.24) for nursing home staff, and 0.13 (0.11 to 0.16) for healthcare workers. Adjusted hazard ratios for hospital admission and mortality after two doses of vaccine were 0.05 (0.04 to 0.07) and 0.03 (0.02 to 0.04), respectively, for nursing home residents. Nursing home staff and healthcare workers recorded insufficient events for mortality analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination was associated with 80-91% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infection in all three cohorts and greater reductions in hospital admissions and mortality among nursing home residents for up to five months. More data are needed on longer term effects of covid-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/mortality , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Homes for the Aged/statistics & numerical data , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 693956, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320593

ABSTRACT

Monitoring transmission is a prerequisite for containing COVID-19. We report on effective potential growth (EPG) as a novel measure for the early identification of local outbreaks based on primary care electronic medical records (EMR) and PCR-confirmed cases. Secondly, we studied whether increasing EPG precedes local hospital and intensive care (ICU) admissions and mortality. Population-based cohort including all Catalan citizens' PCR tests, hospitalization, intensive care (ICU) and mortality between 1/07/2020 and 13/09/2020; linked EMR covering 88.6% of the Catalan population was obtained. Nursing home residents were excluded. COVID-19 counts were ascertained based on EMR and PCRs separately. Weekly empirical propagation (ρ7) and 14-day cumulative incidence (A14) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated at care management area (CMA) level, and combined as EPG = ρ7 × A14. Overall, 7,607,201 and 6,798,994 people in 43 CMAs were included for PCR and EMR measures, respectively. A14, ρ7, and EPG increased in numerous CMAs during summer 2020. EMR identified 2.70-fold more cases than PCRs, with similar trends, a median (interquartile range) 2 (1) days earlier, and better precision. Upticks in EPG preceded increases in local hospital admissions, ICU occupancy, and mortality. Increasing EPG identified localized outbreaks in Catalonia, and preceded local hospital and ICU admissions and subsequent mortality. EMRs provided similar estimates to PCR, but some days earlier and with better precision. EPG is a useful tool for the monitoring of community transmission and for the early identification of COVID-19 local outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Electronic Health Records , Humans , Primary Health Care , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology
7.
Int J Epidemiol ; 49(6): 1930-1939, 2021 01 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894596

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Currently, there is a missing link in the natural history of COVID-19, from first (usually milder) symptoms to hospitalization and/or death. To fill in this gap, we characterized COVID-19 patients at the time at which they were diagnosed in outpatient settings and estimated 30-day hospital admission and fatality rates. METHODS: This was a population-based cohort study.Data were obtained from Information System for Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP)-a primary-care records database covering >6 million people (>80% of the population of Catalonia), linked to COVID-19 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and hospital emergency, inpatient and mortality registers. We included all patients in the database who were ≥15 years old and diagnosed with COVID-19 in outpatient settings between 15 March and 24 April 2020 (10 April for outcome studies). Baseline characteristics included socio-demographics, co-morbidity and previous drug use at the time of diagnosis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and results.Study outcomes included 30-day hospitalization for COVID-19 and all-cause fatality. RESULTS: We identified 118 150 and 95 467 COVID-19 patients for characterization and outcome studies, respectively. Most were women (58.7%) and young-to-middle-aged (e.g. 21.1% were 45-54 years old). Of the 44 575 who were tested with PCR, 32 723 (73.4%) tested positive. In the month after diagnosis, 14.8% (14.6-15.0) were hospitalized, with a greater proportion of men and older people, peaking at age 75-84 years. Thirty-day fatality was 3.5% (95% confidence interval: 3.4% to 3.6%), higher in men, increasing with age and highest in those residing in nursing homes [24.5% (23.4% to 25.6%)]. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 infections were widespread in the community, including all age-sex strata. However, severe forms of the disease clustered in older men and nursing-home residents. Although initially managed in outpatient settings, 15% of cases required hospitalization and 4% died within a month of first symptoms. These data are instrumental for designing deconfinement strategies and will inform healthcare planning and hospital-bed allocation in current and future COVID-19 outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spain/epidemiology , Time Factors , Young Adult
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19106, 2020 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-175482

ABSTRACT

Digital health technologies offer significant opportunities to reshape current health care systems. From the adoption of electronic medical records to mobile health apps and other disruptive technologies, digital health solutions have promised a better quality of care at a more sustainable cost. However, the widescale adoption of these solutions is lagging behind. The most adverse scenarios often provide an opportunity to develop and test the capacity of digital health technologies to increase the efficiency of health care systems. Catalonia (Northeast Spain) is one of the most advanced regions in terms of digital health adoption across Europe. The region has a long tradition of health information exchange in the public health care sector and is currently implementing an ambitious digital health strategy. In this viewpoint, we discuss the crucial role digital health solutions play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to support public health policies. We also report on the strategies currently deployed at scale during the outbreak in Catalonia.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Technology/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Efficiency, Organizational , Humans , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology
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