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1.
Psychol Med ; : 1-11, 2021 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815415

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When vaccination depends on injection, it is plausible that the blood-injection-injury cluster of fears may contribute to hesitancy. Our primary aim was to estimate in the UK adult population the proportion of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy explained by blood-injection-injury fears. METHODS: In total, 15 014 UK adults, quota sampled to match the population for age, gender, ethnicity, income and region, took part (19 January-5 February 2021) in a non-probability online survey. The Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Scale assessed intent to be vaccinated. Two scales (Specific Phobia Scale-blood-injection-injury phobia and Medical Fear Survey-injections and blood subscale) assessed blood-injection-injury fears. Four items from these scales were used to create a factor score specifically for injection fears. RESULTS: In total, 3927 (26.2%) screened positive for blood-injection-injury phobia. Individuals screening positive (22.0%) were more likely to report COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy compared to individuals screening negative (11.5%), odds ratio = 2.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.97-2.40, p < 0.001. The population attributable fraction (PAF) indicated that if blood-injection-injury phobia were absent then this may prevent 11.5% of all instances of vaccine hesitancy, AF = 0.11; 95% CI 0.09-0.14, p < 0.001. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was associated with higher scores on the Specific Phobia Scale, r = 0.22, p < 0.001, Medical Fear Survey, r = 0.23, p = <0.001 and injection fears, r = 0.25, p < 0.001. Injection fears were higher in youth and in Black and Asian ethnic groups, and explained a small degree of why vaccine hesitancy is higher in these groups. CONCLUSIONS: Across the adult population, blood-injection-injury fears may explain approximately 10% of cases of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Addressing such fears will likely improve the effectiveness of vaccination programmes.

2.
JCI Insight ; 7(6)2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770087

ABSTRACT

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a globally ubiquitous pathogen with a seroprevalence of approximately 50% in the United Kingdom. CMV infection induces expansion of immunosenescent T cell and NK cell populations, with these cells demonstrating lower responsiveness to activation and reduced functionality upon infection and vaccination. In this study, we found that CMV+ participants had normal T cell responses after a single-dose or homologous vaccination with the viral vector chimpanzee adenovirus developed by the University of Oxford (ChAdOx1). CMV seropositivity was associated with reduced induction of IFN-γ-secreting T cells in a ChAd-Modified Vaccinia Ankara (ChAd-MVA) viral vector vaccination trial. Analysis of participants receiving a single dose of ChAdOx1 demonstrated that T cells from CMV+ donors had a more terminally differentiated profile of CD57+PD1+CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells expressing less IL-2Rα (CD25) and fewer polyfunctional CD4+ T cells 14 days after vaccination. NK cells from CMV-seropositive individuals also had a reduced activation profile. Overall, our data suggest that although CMV infection enhances immunosenescence of T and NK populations, it does not affect antigen-specific T cell IFN-γ secretion or antibody IgG production after vaccination with the current ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination regimen, which has important implications given the widespread use of this vaccine, particularly in low- and middle-income countries with high CMV seroprevalence.


Subject(s)
Cytomegalovirus Infections , Cytomegalovirus , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Vaccination
3.
Arch Dis Child ; 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769846

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe rates and variation in uptake of pneumococcal and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines in children and associated change in vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) across the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Retrospective database study of all children aged <19 registered with a general practice in the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre English national sentinel surveillance network between 2 November 2015 and 18 July 2021. RESULTS: Coverage of booster dose of pneumococcal vaccine decreased from 94.5% (95% CI 94.3% to 94.7%) at its height on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) week 47 (2020) to 93.6% (95% CI 93.4% to 93.8%) by the end of the study. Coverage of second dose of MMR decreased from 85.0% (95% CI 84.7% to 85.3%) at its height on ISO week 37 (2020) to 84.1% (95% CI 83.8% to 84.4%) by the end of the study. The break point in trends for MMR was at ISO week 34 (2020) (95% CI weeks 32-37 (2020)), while for pneumococcal vaccine the break point was later at ISO week 3 (2021) (95% CI week 53 (2020) to week 8 (2021)). Vaccination coverage for children of white ethnicity was less likely to decrease than other ethnicities. Rates of consultation for VPDs fell and remained low since August 2020. CONCLUSION: Childhood vaccination rates started to fall ahead of the onset of the second wave; this fall is accentuating ethnic, socioeconomic and geographical disparities in vaccine uptake and risks widening health disparities. Social distancing and school closures may have contributed to lower rates of associated VPDs, but there may be increased risk as these measures are removed.

4.
J Clin Microbiol ; : e0228321, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759279

ABSTRACT

Tools to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and track the ongoing evolution of the virus are necessary to support public health efforts and the design and evaluation of novel COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been adopted as the gold standard method for discriminating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, alternative methods may be required when processing samples with low viral loads or low RNA quality. To this aim, an allele-specific probe PCR (ASP-PCR) targeting lineage-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was developed and used to screen 1,082 samples from two clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil. Probit regression models were developed to compare ASP-PCR performance against 1,771 NGS results for the same cohorts. Individual SNPs were shown to readily identify specific variants of concern. ASP-PCR was shown to discriminate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with a higher likelihood than NGS over a wide range of viral loads. The comparative advantage for ASP-PCR over NGS was most pronounced in samples with cycle threshold (CT) values between 26 and 30 and in samples that showed evidence of degradation. Results for samples screened by ASP-PCR and NGS showed 99% concordant results. ASP-PCR is well suited to augment but not replace NGS. The method can differentiate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with high accuracy and would be best deployed to screen samples with lower viral loads or that may suffer from degradation. Future work should investigate further destabilization from primer-target base mismatch through altered oligonucleotide chemistry or chemical additives.

5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1251, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740439

ABSTRACT

The trajectories of acquired immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection are not fully understood. We present a detailed longitudinal cohort study of UK healthcare workers prior to vaccination, presenting April-June 2020 with asymptomatic or symptomatic infection. Here we show a highly variable range of responses, some of which (T cell interferon-gamma ELISpot, N-specific antibody) wane over time, while others (spike-specific antibody, B cell memory ELISpot) are stable. We use integrative analysis and a machine-learning approach (SIMON - Sequential Iterative Modeling OverNight) to explore this heterogeneity. We identify a subgroup of participants with higher antibody responses and interferon-gamma ELISpot T cell responses, and a robust trajectory for longer term immunity associates with higher levels of neutralising antibodies against the infecting (Victoria) strain and also against variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). These variable trajectories following early priming may define subsequent protection from severe disease from novel variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329503

ABSTRACT

In this report, we present live neutralisation titres against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, compared with neutralisation against Victoria, Beta and Delta variants. Sera from day-28 post second-dose were obtained from participants in the Com-COV2 study who had received a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination schedule with either AstraZeneca (AZD1222) or Pfizer (BNT162b2) vaccines. There was a substantial fall in neutralisation titres in recipients of both AZD1222 and BNT16b2 primary courses, with evidence of some recipients failing to neutralise at all. This will likely lead to increased breakthrough infections in previously infected or double vaccinated individuals, which could drive a further wave of infection, although there is currently no evidence of increased potential to cause severe disease, hospitalization or death.

8.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(1): 2004808, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692316

ABSTRACT

The speed of COVID-19 vaccine development has been identified as a central concern contributing to hesitancy in acceptance. We conducted qualitative interviews to gain a greater understanding into these concerns and to identify what might address them. Twelve qualitative interviews were conducted with participants identifying as hesitant for COVID-19 vaccination and reporting concern about the speed of vaccine development. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used. Concerns about speed comprised the linked themes of i) difficulty understanding the pace, and, ii) worry about the implications for vaccine safety. Uncertainties concerning the pandemic led to a notable desire for credible and understandable information regarding the vaccines, which many participants felt was not available. Four routes to resolving uncertainty about whether to be vaccinated were identified. First, waiting for more information about the vaccines, such as about their contents and impact on transmission. Second, a growing perception that the vaccines must be safe given the large numbers already vaccinated. Third, viewing the vaccines as necessary - even if unappealing - for ending the pandemic. Finally, a feeling that there would be no choice but to have a vaccine. Examples of what might reduce hesitancy were given, including interviews with vaccine developers and knowing others of similar age having safely been vaccinated. The pace of development broke expectations set earlier in the pandemic. This was interpreted negatively due to a perceived lack of credible information. Most participants could envisage ways their concerns could be resolved, enough for them to have a vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318857

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the UK to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. In a study of 503 healthcare workers, we show that after priming following the first vaccine there is a marked decline in SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody (NAb) levels, but, in contrast, a sustained T cell response to spike protein. This divergent immune profile was accompanied by robust protection from infection over this period from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. Importantly, following the second vaccine dose, NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared to the conventional 3-4 week regimen, accompanied by a clear enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing IL2. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective, immunogenic protocol and that antiviral T cell responses are a potential mechanism of protection.Trial Registration Details: PITCH is a sub-study of the SIREN study which is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN11041050,Funding Information: This work was funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care as part of the PITCH (Protective Immunity from T cells to Covid-19 in Health workers) Consortium, with contributions from UKRI/NIHR through the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), the Huo Family Foundation and The National Institute for Health Research (UKRIDHSC COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call, Grant Reference Number COV19-RECPLAS).EB and PK are NIHR Senior Investigators and PK is funded by WT109965MA. SJD is funded by an NIHR Global Research Professorship (NIHR300791). TdS is funded by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship (110058/Z/15/Z). RPP is funded by a Career Re-entry Fellowship (204721/Z/16/Z). CJAD is funded by a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (211153/Z/18/Z). DS is supported by the NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer programme in Oxford. LT is supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant number 205228/Z/16/Z) and the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (NIHR200907) at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford. DGW is supported by an NIHR Advanced Fellowship in Liverpool. LT and MC are supported by U.S. Food and Drug Administration Medical Countermeasures Initiative contract 75F40120C00085. Declaration of Interests: AJP is Chair of UK Dept. Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI), but does not participate in policy decisions on COVID-19 vaccines. He is a member of the WHO’s SAGE. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of DHSC, JCVI, or WHO. AJP is chief investigator on clinical trials of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine funded by NIHR. Oxford University has entered a joint COVID-19 vaccine development partnership with AstraZeneca. Ethics Approval Statement: PITCH is a sub-study of the SIREN study which was approved by the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, Health Research 250 Authority (IRAS ID 284460, REC reference 20/SC/0230), with PITCH recognised as a sub-study on 2 December 2020. SIREN is registered with ISRCTN (Trial ID:252 ISRCTN11041050). Some participants were recruited under aligned study protocols. In Birmingham participants were recruited under the Determining the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in convalescent health care workers (COCO) study (IRAS ID: 282525). In Liverpool some participants were recruited under the “Human immune responses to acute virus infections” Study (16/NW/0170), approved by North West - Liverpool Central Research Ethics Committee on 8 March 2016, and amended on 14th September 2020 and 4th May 2021. In Oxford, participants were recruited under the GI Biobank Study 16/YH/0247, approved by the research ethics committee (REC) t Yorkshire & The Humber - Sheffield Research Ethics Committee on 29 July 2016, which has been amended for this purpose on 8 June 2020. In Sheffield, participants were recruited under the Observational Biobanking study STHObs (18/YH/0441), which was amended for this study on 10 September 2020. The study was conducted in compliance with all relevant ethical regulations for work with human participants, and according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (2008) and the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines. Written informed consent was obtained for all patients enrolled in the study.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316095

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a public health emergency of international concern 1 . People living with HIV (PLWH) are at increased risk for adverse COVID-19 outcomes compared with HIV-negative individuals 2-5 , and are a high-risk group for COVID-19 prevention 4 . The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine has demonstrated safety and efficacy against COVID-19 in clinical trials 6-8 . To date, there are no reports on the safety and immunogenicity of this, or any COVID-19 vaccine, in PLWH, and reports on the immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa are limited 9 . Here, we show comparable safety and immunogenicity of two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 between PLWH and HIV-negative individuals in South Africa. Furthermore, in PLWH previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, antibody responses increased substantially from baseline following a priming dose, with modest increases after a booster dose. Full-length spike and receptor-binding domain IgG geometric mean concentrations after a single dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in PLWH previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were 6.49–6.84-fold higher than after two doses in those who were SARS-CoV-2 naïve at enrollment. Neutralizing antibody responses were consistent with the antibody-binding responses. This is the first report of a COVID-19 vaccine specific to PLWH, and specific to Africa, and demonstrates favorable safety and immunogenicity of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in PLWH.

11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313634

ABSTRACT

Background: Children are largely unaffected following Sars-CoV-2 infection with low rates of significant disease and the inflammatory syndrome MIS-C. However, the lives of children have been substantially disrupted by the pandemic through physical distancing measures and the impact on health systems and economies. In this study, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital admissions for childhood respiratory infections, severe invasive infections, and vaccine preventable disease in England was assessed along with associated mortality outcomes.Methods: In this population-based observational study, we examined hospital admission data from every National Health Service hospital from Mar 1 2017 to Feb 28 2021. We report monthly and annual numbers of individuals hospitalised with 19 common childhood respiratory, severe invasive, and vaccine preventable infections. We compare the frequency of admissions for these conditions before and after the onset of the pandemic in England and calculate percentage changes since Mar 1 2020 for each infection overall and by demographic characteristics including age, region, deprivation, and comorbidity, and quantify mortality outcomes.Findings: In the 12 months from Mar 1 2020, there were significant reductions compared with the preceding 36 months in the numbers of children admitted for every infection studied except pyelonephritis. These reductions were seen in all geographic regions, Index of Multiple Deprivation categories, ethnic groups and in those with underlying comorbidities. Among the respiratory infections, the greatest percentage reductions were for influenza where the number of individuals admitted decreased by 94% (95% CI 88, 97) from 5,061 (annual mean from Mar 1 2017 - Feb 29 2020) to 290 in the 12 months after Mar 1 2020, and for bronchiolitis where the number of individuals admitted decreased by over 80% (95% CI 78, 83) from 41,777 (annual mean 2017–2020) to 7,883 in 2020-21. Among the severe invasive infections, percentage decreases ranged from 20% (95% CI 13, 26) for osteomyelitis to 54% (95% CI 51, 56) for meningitis. Among the vaccine preventable infections, the greatest reduction was for measles, where the number of individuals admitted in the 12 months after Mar 1 2020 (n=12) was 92% lower (95% CI 84, 96) than the average number admitted in the previous three years (n=143). Admissions for Neisseria meningitidis decreased by 70% (95% CI 55, 80), and admissions for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and mumps more than halved. Alongside the decreases in admissions, there were also decreases in the absolute numbers of 60-day fatalities after admission for sepsis, meningitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, viral wheeze and upper respiratory tract infection (RTI). For pneumonia, although the absolute number of 60-day fatalities decreased (from a 3-year average of 159 to 115 after Mar 1 2020), the proportion of individuals admitted who died within 60 days increased (age-sex adjusted odds ratio 1.73, 95% CI 1.42, 2.11).Interpretation: During the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of behavioural changes (adoption of non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs)) and societal strategies (school closures, lockdowns and restricted travel) were used to reduce transmission of SARS CoV2 which have also significantly reduced transmission of common and severe childhood infections. NPIs could be used in the future to better protect healthcare systems and the most vulnerable children in society.Funding Information: Public Health England, Health Data Research UK, and the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval to study the record-linked datasets was obtained from the Central and South Bristol Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee (04/Q2006/176). All patient records were pseudonymized by the data providers through encryption of personal identifiers.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310655

ABSTRACT

Background: The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine is immunogenic and protects against COVID-19. However, data on vaccine immunogenicity are needed for the 40 million people living with HIV (PWH), who may have less functional immunity and more associated co-morbidities than the general population. Methods: Between the 5th and 24th November 2020, 54 adults with HIV, aged 18-55 years, were enrolled into a single arm open label vaccination study within the protocol of the larger phase 2/3 COV002 trial. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, with two doses (5 × 1010 vp) was given 4-6 weeks apart. All participants were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with undetectable plasma HIV viral loads and CD4+ T cell counts >350 cells/µl at enrolment. Data were captured on adverse events. Humoral responses were measured by anti-spike IgG ELISA and antibody-mediated live virus neutralisation. Cell-mediated immune responses were measured by ex-vivo interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot) and T cell proliferation. All outcomes were compared with a HIV uninfected group from the main COV002 study.Findings: 54 participants with HIV (median age 42.5 years (IQR 37.2-49.8)) received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Median CD4+ T cell count at enrolment was 694 cells/µl (IQR 562-864). Results are reported for 56 days of follow-up. Local and systemic reactions occurring during the first 7 days after prime vaccination included pain at the injection site (49%), fatigue (47%), headache (47%), malaise (34%), chills (23%), and muscle or (36%) joint pain (9%), the frequencies of which were similar to the HIV-negative participants. There were no serious adverse events. Anti-spike IgG responses by ELISA peaked at Day 42 (median 1440 ELISA units, IQR 704-2728) and were sustained out to Day 56. There was no correlation with CD4+ T cell count or age and the magnitude of the anti-spike IgG response at Day 56 (P>0.05 for both). ELISpot and T cell proliferative responses peaked between Day 14 and 28 after prime and were sustained through to Day 56. When compared to participants without HIV there was no statistical difference in magnitude or persistence of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral or cellular responses (P>0.05 for all analyses).Interpretation: In this study of PWH, vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was well tolerated and there was no difference in humoral and cell-mediated immune responses compared to an adult cohort without HIV who received the same vaccination regime. Trial Registration: Trial Registration number is NCT04400838. Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.Declaration of Interest: Oxford University has entered into a partnership with AstraZeneca for further development of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222). AstraZeneca reviewed the data from the study and the final manuscript before 474 submission, but the authors retained editorial control. SCG is cofounder of Vaccitech (a collaborator in the early development of this vaccine candidate) and named as an inventor on a patent covering use of ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines (PCT/GB2012/000467) and a patent application covering this SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. TL is named as an inventor on a patent application covering this SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and was consultant to Vaccitech. PMF is a consultant to Vaccitech. AJP is Chair of the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s JCVI, but does not participate in policy advice on coronavirus vaccines, and is a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). AVSH is a cofounder of and consultant to Vaccitech and is named as an inventor on a patent covering design and use of ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines (PCT/GB2012/0004 7).Ethical Approval: Written informed consent was obtained from all participants, and the trial was done in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practice. This study was approved in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (reference 21584/0424/001-0001) and the South Central Berkshire Research Ethics Committee (reference 20/SC/0145). Vaccine use was authorised by Genetically Modified Organisms Safety Committees at each participating site.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308614

ABSTRACT

Background: Emerging evidence shows the substantial real-world impact of authorised vaccines against COVID-19 and provides insight into the potential role of vaccines in curbing the pandemic. However, there remains uncertainty about the efficacy of vaccines against different variants of the virus. Here we assessed efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) against lineages of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Brazil from June 2020 until early 2021. Methods: Participants aged 18 and above were enrolled into a randomised phase 3 trial of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or control (1st dose: Men ACWY vaccine, 2nd dose: normal saline). Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabbing was performed if participants developed symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, fever >37.8°C, ageusia, anosmia). Swabs were tested by nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) for SARS-CoV-2, sequenced, and viral load determined. For those samples where a genotype could not be ascertained from sequencing, allele specific PCR was performed. The efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a NAAT positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were unblinded after the vaccine was authorised for use, and the control participants offered vaccination. Infections occurring after unblinding were excluded from analysis. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 100% x (1 – relative risk (RR)), where RR was estimated from a robust Poisson model. The trial is registered at ISRCTN89951424. Findings: 9433 participants were eligible for inclusion in the pre-specified primary efficacy population, having reached more than 14 days after a second dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, of whom 307 were NAAT+, in this post-hoc analysis. From June 2020 to February 2021, the two most frequently identified lineages were P.2 (N=153) and B.1.1.28 (N=49). P.1 emerged during the study (N=18) but became dominant only after study unblinding. Viral loads were highest amongst those with P.1 infection. Vaccine efficacy (VE) for B.1.1.33 (88.2%, 95%CI 5, 99), B.1.1.28 (73%, 95% CI, 46, 86), P.2 (69% 95% CI, 55, 78) and P.1 (64%, 95% CI, -2, 87) was estimated. In participants who had received two doses of vaccine, one COVID-19 hospitalisation occurred in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 18 in the control group, with VE against hospitalisation 95% (95% CI 61, 99). There were 2 COVID-19 deaths in the control group and none in the vaccine group. Interpretation ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 provides high efficacy against hospitalisation, severe disease and death from COVID-19 in Brazil and there is strong evidence of protection being maintained against P.2, despite the presence of the spike protein mutation E484K. Real world effectiveness studies are ongoing in Brazil to further establish protection against P.1 and other emerging variants.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322827

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is normally controlled by effective host immunity including innate, humoral and cellular responses. However, the trajectories and correlates of acquired immunity, and the capacity of memory responses months after infection to neutralise variants of concern - which has important public health implications - is not fully understood. To address this, we studied a cohort of 78 UK healthcare workers who presented in April to June 2020 with symptomatic PCR-confirmed infection or who tested positive during an asymptomatic screening programme and tracked virus-specific B and T cell responses longitudinally at 5-6 time points each over 6 months, prior to vaccination. We observed a highly variable range of responses, some of which - T cell interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) ELISpot, N-specific antibody waned over time across the cohort, while others (spike-specific antibody, B cell memory ELISpot) were stable. In such cohorts, antiviral antibody has been linked to protection against re-infection. We used integrative analysis and a machine-learning approach (SIMON - Sequential Iterative Modeling Over Night) to explore this heterogeneity and to identify predictors of sustained immune responses. Hierarchical clustering defined a group of high and low antibody responders, which showed stability over time regardless of clinical presentation. These antibody responses correlated with IFN-γ ELISpot measures of T cell immunity and represent a subgroup of patients with a robust trajectory for longer term immunity. Importantly, this immune-phenotype associates with higher levels of neutralising antibodies not only against the infecting (Victoria) strain but also against variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). Overall memory responses to SARS-CoV-2 show distinct trajectories following early priming, that may define subsequent protection against infection and severe disease from novel variants.

15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-304929

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has placed an unprecedented health and economic burden on countries at all levels of socioeconomic development, emphasizing the need to evaluate the most effective vaccination strategy in multiple, diverse environments. The high reported efficacy, low cost, and long shelf-life of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine positions it well for evaluation in different settings. Methods: Using data from the ongoing ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 clinical trials, an individual-based model was constructed to predict the 6-month population-level impact of vaccine deployment. A detailed probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was developed to evaluate the importance of epidemiological, demographic, immunological, and logistical factors in determining vaccine effectiveness. Using representative countries, logistical plans for vaccination rollout at various levels of vaccine availability and delivery speed, conditional on vaccine efficacy profiles (efficacy of the booster dose, time interval between doses, and relative efficacy of the first dose) were explored. Findings: and Interpretation Our results highlight how expedient vaccine delivery to high-risk groups is critical in mitigating COVID-19 disease and mortality. In scenarios where the number of vaccine doses available is insufficient for high-risk groups (those aged more than 65 years) to receive two vaccine doses, administration of a single dose of vaccine is optimal. This effect is consistent even when vaccine efficacy after one dose is just 75% of the levels achieved after two doses. These findings offer a nuanced perspective of the critical drivers of COVID-19 vaccination effectiveness and can inform optimal allocation strategies. These are relevant to high-income countries with a large high-risk group population as well as to low-income countries with younger populations, where the cost and logistical challenges of procuring and delivering two doses for each citizen represent a significant challenge.

16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321742

ABSTRACT

Both natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immunization with a number of vaccines induce protective immunity. However, the ability of such immune responses to recognize and therefore protect against emerging variants is a matter of increasing importance. Such variants of concern (VOC) include isolates of lineage B1.1.7, first identified in the UK, and B1.351, first identified in South Africa. Our data confirm that VOC, particularly those with substitutions at residues 484 and 417 escape neutralization by antibodies directed to the ACE2-binding Class 1 and the adjacent Class 2 epitopes but are susceptible to neutralization by the generally less potent antibodies directed to Class 3 and 4 epitopes on the flanks RBD. To address this potential threat, we sampled a SARS-CoV-2 uninfected UK cohort recently vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses delivered 18-28 days apart), alongside a cohort naturally infected in the first wave of the epidemic in Spring 2020. We tested antibody and T cell responses against a reference isolate (VIC001) representing the original circulating lineage B and the impact of sequence variation in these two VOCs. We identified a reduction in antibody neutralization against the VOCs which was most evident in the B1.351 variant. However, the majority of the T cell response was directed against epitopes conserved across all three strains. The reduction in antibody neutralization was less marked in post-boost vaccine-induced than in naturally-induced immune responses and could be largely explained by the potency of the homotypic antibody response. However, after a single vaccination, which induced only modestly neutralizing homotypic antibody titres, neutralization against the VOCs was completely abrogated in the majority of vaccinees. These data indicate that VOCs may evade protective neutralising responses induced by prior infection, and to a lesser extent by immunization, particularly after a single vaccine, but the impact of the VOCs on T cell responses appears less marked. The results emphasize the need to generate high potency immune responses through vaccination in order to provide protection against these and other emergent variants. We observed that two doses of vaccine also induced a significant increase in binding antibodies to spike of both SARS-CoV-1 & MERS, in addition to the four common coronaviruses currently circulating in the UK. The impact of antigenic imprinting on the potency of humoral and cellular heterotypic protection generated by the next generation of variant-directed vaccines remains to be determined.

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321741

ABSTRACT

Both natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immunization with vaccines induce protective immunity. However, the extent to which such immune responses protect against emerging variants is of increasing importance. Such variants of concern (VOC) include isolates of lineage B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK, and B.1.351, first identified in South Africa. Our data confirm that VOC, particularly those with substitutions at residues 484 and 417, escape neutralization by antibodies directed to the ACE2-binding Class 1 and the adjacent Class 2 epitopes but are susceptible to neutralization by the generally less potent antibodies directed to Class 3 and 4 epitopes on the flanks of the receptor-binding domain. To address the potential threat posed by VOC, we sampled a SARS-CoV-2 uninfected UK cohort recently vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses delivered 18-28 days apart), alongside a cohort sampled in the early convalescent stages after natural infection in the first wave of the pandemic in Spring 2020. We tested antibody and T cell responses against a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, and the impact of sequence variation in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 VOC. Neutralization of the VOC compared to B isolate was reduced, and this was most evident for the B.1.351 isolate. This reduction in antibody neutralization was less marked in post-boost vaccine-induced responses compared to naturally induced immune responses and could be largely explained by the potency of the homotypic antibody response. After a single vaccination, which induced only modestly neutralizing homotypic antibody titres, neutralization against the VOC was completely abrogated in the majority of vaccinees. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses were generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. These data indicate that VOC may evade protective neutralizing responses induced by prior infection, and to a lesser extent by immunization, particularly after a single vaccine dose, but the impact of the VOC on T cell responses appears less marked. The results emphasize the need to generate high potency immune responses through vaccination in order to provide protection against these and other emergent variants.

18.
Lancet ; 399(10324): 521-529, 2022 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631348

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The inactivated whole-virion SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac, Sinovac) has been widely used in a two-dose schedule. We assessed whether a third dose of the homologous or a different vaccine could boost immune responses. METHODS: RHH-001 is a phase 4, participant masked, two centre, safety and immunogenicity study of Brazilian adults (18 years and older) in São Paulo or Salvador who had received two doses of CoronaVac 6 months previously. The third heterologous dose was of either a recombinant adenoviral vectored vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S, Janssen), an mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2, Pfizer-BioNTech), or a recombinant adenoviral-vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222, AstraZeneca), compared with a third homologous dose of CoronaVac. Participants were randomly assigned (5:6:5:5) by a RedCAP computer randomisation system stratified by site, age group (18-60 years or 61 years and over), and day of randomisation, with a block size of 42. The primary outcome was non-inferiority of anti-spike IgG antibodies 28 days after the booster dose in the heterologous boost groups compared with homologous regimen, using a non-inferiority margin for the geometric mean ratio (heterologous vs homologous) of 0·67. Secondary outcomes included neutralising antibody titres at day 28, local and systemic reactogenicity profiles, adverse events, and serious adverse events. This study was registered with Registro Brasileiro de Ensaios Clínicos, number RBR-9nn3scw. FINDINGS: Between Aug 16, and Sept 1, 2021, 1240 participants were randomly assigned to one of the four groups, of whom 1239 were vaccinated and 1205 were eligible for inclusion in the primary analysis. Antibody concentrations were low before administration of a booster dose with detectable neutralising antibodies of 20·4% (95% CI 12·8-30·1) in adults aged 18-60 years and 8·9% (4·2-16·2) in adults 61 years or older. From baseline to day 28 after the booster vaccine, all groups had a substantial rise in IgG antibody concentrations: the geometric fold-rise was 77 (95% CI 67-88) for Ad26.COV2-S, 152 (134-173) for BNT162b2, 90 (77-104) for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, and 12 (11-14) for CoronaVac. All heterologous regimens had anti-spike IgG responses at day 28 that were superior to homologous booster responses: geometric mean ratios (heterologous vs homologous) were 6·7 (95% CI 5·8-7·7) for Ad26.COV2-S, 13·4 (11·6-15·3) for BNT162b2, and 7·0 (6·1-8·1) for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. All heterologous boost regimens induced high concentrations of pseudovirus neutralising antibodies. At day 28, all groups except for the homologous boost in the older adults reached 100% seropositivity: geometric mean ratios (heterologous vs homologous) were 8·7 (95% CI 5·9-12·9) for Ad26.COV2-S vaccine, 21·5 (14·5-31·9) for BNT162b2, and 10·6 (7·2-15·6) for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Live virus neutralising antibodies were also boosted against delta (B.1.617.2) and omicron variants (B.1.1.529). There were five serious adverse events. Three of which were considered possibly related to the vaccine received: one in the BNT162b2 group and two in the Ad26.COV2-S group. All participants recovered and were discharged home. INTERPRETATION: Antibody concentrations were low at 6 months after previous immunisation with two doses of CoronaVac. However, all four vaccines administered as a third dose induced a significant increase in binding and neutralising antibodies, which could improve protection against infection. Heterologous boosting resulted in more robust immune responses than homologous boosting and might enhance protection. FUNDING: Ministry of Health, Brazil.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Brazil , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , Vaccines, Inactivated
19.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625044

ABSTRACT

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines was the result of decades of research to establish flexible vaccine platforms and understand pathogens with pandemic potential, as well as several novel changes to the vaccine discovery and development processes that partnered industry and governments. And while vaccines offer the potential to drastically improve global health, low-and-middle-income countries around the world often experience reduced access to vaccines and reduced vaccine efficacy. Addressing these issues will require novel vaccine approaches and platforms, deeper insight how vaccines mediate protection, and innovative trial designs and models. On June 28-30, 2021, experts in vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and deployment met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium "Innovative Vaccine Approaches" to discuss advances in vaccine research and development.

20.
BMJ ; 376: e067519, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622028

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes for childhood respiratory infections, severe invasive infections, and vaccine preventable disease in England. DESIGN: Population based observational study of 19 common childhood respiratory, severe invasive, and vaccine preventable infections, comparing hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes before and after the onset of the pandemic in England. SETTING: Hospital admission data from every NHS hospital in England from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021 with record linkage to national mortality data. POPULATION: Children aged 0-14 years admitted to an NHS hospital with a selected childhood infection from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For each infection, numbers of hospital admissions every month from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021, percentage changes in the number of hospital admissions before and after 1 March 2020, and adjusted odds ratios to compare 60 day case fatality outcomes before and after 1 March 2020. RESULTS: After 1 March 2020, substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions were found for all but one of the 19 infective conditions studied. Among the respiratory infections, the greatest percentage reductions were for influenza (mean annual number admitted between 1 March 2017 and 29 February 2020 was 5379 and number of children admitted from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 was 304, 94% reduction, 95% confidence interval 89% to 97%), and bronchiolitis (from 51 655 to 9423, 82% reduction, 95% confidence interval 79% to 84%). Among the severe invasive infections, the greatest reduction was for meningitis (50% reduction, 47% to 52%). For the vaccine preventable infections, reductions ranged from 53% (32% to 68%) for mumps to 90% (80% to 95%) for measles. Reductions were seen across all demographic subgroups and in children with underlying comorbidities. Corresponding decreases were also found for the absolute numbers of 60 day case fatalities, although the proportion of children admitted for pneumonia who died within 60 days increased (age-sex adjusted odds ratio 1.71, 95% confidence interval 1.43 to 2.05). More recent data indicate that some respiratory infections increased to higher levels than usual after May 2021. CONCLUSIONS: During the covid-19 pandemic, a range of behavioural changes (adoption of non-pharmacological interventions) and societal strategies (school closures, lockdowns, and restricted travel) were used to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which also reduced admissions for common and severe childhood infections. Continued monitoring of these infections is required as social restrictions evolve.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Infections/mortality , Male , Quarantine , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Virus Diseases/mortality
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