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Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296399


Importance The effectiveness of mRNA vaccination in a large and diverse American population, with older age and higher co-morbidity has not been assessed. Objective To describe the scope of the mRNA vaccination rollout among the diverse U.S. Veterans population, and to study the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) against infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalization, and death. Methods Vaccination histories were obtained from medical records to determine if patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 were unvaccinated, partially vaccinated (first dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine), or fully vaccinated (two doses) at time of testing. First, coverage with any COVID-19 vaccination was described for all Veterans enrolled in Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Second, to evaluate VE, a matched test-negative case-control evaluation was conducted utilizing SARS-CoV-2 positive (cases [n=16,690]) and SARS-CoV-2 negative (controls [n=61,610]) tests from Veterans aged ≥18 years old who routinely sought care at a VHA facility and were tested from December 14, 2020, through March 14, 2021. VE was calculated from odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results By March 7, 2021, among 6,170,750 Veterans, 1,547,045 (23%) received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. mRNA COVID-19 VE against infection, regardless of symptoms, was 94% (95% CI 92-95) and 58% (95%CI 54-62) for full and partial vaccination (vs. no vaccination), respectively. VE against infection was similar across subpopulations, and it was not significantly different from VE against symptomatic disease. VE against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death for full vs. no vaccination was 89% (95%CI 81-93) and 99% (95%CI 87-100), respectively. Conclusions and Relevance The VHA’s efficient and equitable distribution of effective vaccines decreased COVID-19 infections, hospitalization, and mortality similarly for all Veterans, including Veterans with low income, homeless Veterans, immunocompromised, the elderly, minorities, and rural Veterans thus reducing health inequalities.

Mil Med ; 2021 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455331


INTRODUCTION: Early identification of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who are at risk for hospitalization may help to mitigate disease burden by allowing healthcare systems to conduct sufficient resource and logistical planning in the event of case surges. We sought to develop and validate a clinical risk score that uses readily accessible information at testing to predict individualized 30-day hospitalization risk following COVID-19 diagnosis. METHODS: We assembled a retrospective cohort of U.S. Veterans Health Administration patients (age ≥ 18 years) diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. We screened patient characteristics using Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator logistic regression and constructed the risk score using characteristics identified as most predictive for hospitalization. Patients diagnosed before November 1, 2020, comprised the development cohort, while those diagnosed on or after November 1, 2020, comprised the validation cohort. We assessed risk score discrimination by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve and calibration using the Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) goodness-of-fit test. This study was approved by the Veteran's Institutional Review Board of Northern New England at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Reference no.:1473972-1). RESULTS: The development and validation cohorts comprised 11,473 and 12,970 patients, of whom 4,465 (38.9%) and 3,669 (28.3%) were hospitalized, respectively. The independent predictors for hospitalization included in the risk score were increasing age, male sex, non-white race, Hispanic ethnicity, homelessness, nursing home/long-term care residence, unemployed or retired status, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, cough, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Model discrimination and calibration was good for the development (AUROC = 0.80; HL P-value = .05) and validation (AUROC = 0.80; HL P-value = .31) cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The prediction tool developed in this study demonstrated that it could identify patients with COVID-19 who are at risk for hospitalization. This could potentially inform clinicians and policymakers of patients who may benefit most from early treatment interventions and help healthcare systems anticipate capacity surges.

JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2128391, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453501


Importance: Effectiveness of mRNA vaccinations in a diverse older population with high comorbidity is unknown. Objectives: To describe the scope of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout among US veterans, and to estimate mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) as measured by rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This matched test-negative case-control study was conducted using SARS-CoV-2 test results at Veterans Health Administration sites from December 14, 2020, to March 14, 2021. Vaccine coverage was estimated for all veterans. VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related hospitalization and death were estimated using electronic health records from veterans who routinely sought care at a VHA facility and had a test result positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases) or negative for SARS-CoV-2 (controls). Cases and controls were matched on time of test and geographic region. Data were analyzed from May to July 2021. Exposures: Vaccination status, defined as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated (≥14 days after first dose until second dose), or fully vaccinated (≥14 days after second dose), at time of test. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome of interest was a positive result for SARS-CoV-2 on a polymerase chain reaction or antigen test. Secondary outcomes included COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, defined by discharge data and proximity of event to positive test result. VE was estimated from odds ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection with 95% CIs. Results: Among 6 647 733 veterans included (3 350 373 veterans [50%] aged ≥65 years; 6 014 798 [90%] men and 632 935 [10%] women; 461 645 Hispanic veterans of any race [7%], 1 102 471 non-Hispanic Black veterans [17%], and 4 361 621 non-Hispanic White veterans [66%]), 1 363 180 (21%) received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccination by March 7, 2021. In this period, during which the share of SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Epsilon, and Iota had started to increase in the US, estimates of COVID-19 VE against infection, regardless of symptoms, was 95% (95% CI, 93%-96%) for full vaccination and 64% (95% CI, 59%-68%) for partial vaccination. Estimated VE against COVID-19-related hospitalization for full vaccination was 91% (95% CI 83%-95%); there were no deaths among veterans who were fully vaccinated. VE against infection was similar across subpopulations (non-Hispanic Black, 94% [95% CI, 88%-97%]; Hispanic [any race], 83% [95% CI, 45%-95%]; non-Hispanic White, 92% [95% CI 88%-94%]; rural, 94% [95% CI, 89%-96%]; urban, 93% 95% CI, 89%-95%]). Conclusions and Relevance: For veterans of all racial and ethnic subgroups living in urban or rural areas, mRNA vaccination was associated with substantially decreased risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization, with no deaths among fully vaccinated veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger , Vaccination Coverage , Veterans , African Americans , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs