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Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-326978


IMPORTANCE: Prior infection and vaccination both contribute to population-level SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Population-level immunity will influence future transmission and disease burden. OBJECTIVE: To estimate population immunity to prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants in the United States over the course of the epidemic until December 1, 2021, and how this changed with the introduction of the Omicron variant. Design, settings, participants: We used daily SARS-CoV-2 infection estimates and vaccination coverage data for each US state and county. We estimated relative rates of vaccination conditional on previous infection status using the Census Bureaus Household Pulse Survey. We used published evidence on natural and vaccine-induced immunity, including waning and immune escape. We used a Bayesian model to synthesize evidence and estimate population immunity outcomes. Main Outcomes and Measures: The fraction of the population with (i) immunological exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (ever infected with SARS-CoV-2 and/or received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine), (ii) effective protection against infection, and (iii) effective protection against severe disease, for each US state and county from January 1, 2020, to December 1, 2021. RESULTS: The estimated percentage of the US population with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination as of December 1, 2021, was 88.2% (95%CrI: 83.6%-93.5%), compared to 24.9% (95%CrI: 18.5%-34.1%) on January 1, 2021. State-level estimates for December 1, 2021, ranged between 76.9% (95%CrI: 67.6%-87.6%, West Virginia) and 94.4% (95%CrI: 91.2%-97.3%, New Mexico). Accounting for waning and immune escape, the effective protection against the Omicron variant on December 1, 2021, was 21.8% (95%CrI: 20.7%-23.4%) nationally and ranged between 14.4% (95%CrI: 13.2%-15.8%, West Virginia), to 26.4% (95%CrI: 25.3%-27.8%, Colorado). Effective protection against severe disease from Omicron was 61.2% (95%CrI: 59.1%-64.0%) nationally and ranged between 53.0% (95%CrI: 47.3%-60.0%, Vermont) and 65.8% (95%CrI: 64.9%-66.7%, Colorado). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: While over three-quarters of the US population had prior immunological exposure to SARS-CoV-2 via vaccination or infection on December 1, 2021 only a fifth of the population was estimated to have effective protection to infection with the immune-evading Omicron variant.

Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-326567


Since its emergence and detection in Wuhan, China in late 2019, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread to nearly every country around the world, resulting in hundreds of thousands of infections to date. The virus was first detected in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States in January, 2020, with subsequent COVID-19 outbreaks detected in all 50 states by early March. To uncover the sources of SARS-CoV-2 introductions and patterns of spread within the U.S., we sequenced nine viral genomes from early reported COVID-19 patients in Connecticut. Our phylogenetic analysis places the majority of these genomes with viruses sequenced from Washington state. By coupling our genomic data with domestic and international travel patterns, we show that early SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Connecticut was likely driven by domestic introductions. Moreover, the risk of domestic importation to Connecticut exceeded that of international importation by mid-March regardless of our estimated impacts of federal travel restrictions. This study provides evidence for widespread, sustained transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within the U.S. and highlights the critical need for local surveillance.