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1.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 19: 100429, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926750

ABSTRACT

Background: We aimed to explore the effectiveness of one-dose BNT162b2 vaccination upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its effect on COVID-19 presentation, and post-vaccination symptoms in children and adolescents (CA) in the UK during periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance. Methods: In this prospective longitudinal cohort study, we analysed data from 115,775 CA aged 12-17 years, proxy-reported through the Covid Symptom Study (CSS) smartphone application. We calculated post-vaccination infection risk after one dose of BNT162b2, and described the illness profile of CA with post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to unvaccinated CA, and post-vaccination side-effects. Findings: Between August 5, 2021 and February 14, 2022, 25,971 UK CA aged 12-17 years received one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. The probability of testing positive for infection diverged soon after vaccination, and was lower in CA with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination reduced proxy-reported infection risk (-80·4% (95% CI -0·82 -0·78) and -53·7% (95% CI -0·62 -0·43) at 14-30 days with Delta and Omicron variants respectively, and -61·5% (95% CI -0·74 -0·44) and -63·7% (95% CI -0·68 -0.59) after 61-90 days). Vaccinated CA who contracted SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta period had milder disease than unvaccinated CA; during the Omicron period this was only evident in children aged 12-15 years. Overall disease profile was similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated CA. Post-vaccination local side-effects were common, systemic side-effects were uncommon, and both resolved within few days (3 days in most cases). Interpretation: One dose of BNT162b2 vaccine reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 90 days in CA aged 12-17 years. Vaccine protection varied for SARS-CoV-2 variant type (lower for Omicron than Delta variant), and was enhanced by pre-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severity of COVID-19 presentation after vaccination was generally milder, although unvaccinated CA also had generally mild disease. Overall, vaccination was well-tolerated. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer's Society, and ZOE Limited.

3.
Children (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variant was the predominant UK circulating strain between May and November 2021. We investigated whether COVID-19 from Delta infection differed from infection with previous variants in children. METHODS: Through the prospective COVID Symptom Study, 109,626 UK school-aged children were proxy-reported between 28 December 2020 and 8 July 2021. We selected all symptomatic children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were proxy-reported at least weekly, within two timeframes: 28 December 2020 to 6 May 2021 (Alpha (B.1.1.7), the main UK circulating variant) and 26 May to 8 July 2021 (Delta, the main UK circulating variant), with all children unvaccinated (as per national policy at the time). We assessed illness profiles (symptom prevalence, duration, and burden), hospital presentation, and presence of long (≥28 day) illness, and calculated odds ratios for symptoms presenting within the first 28 days of illness. RESULTS: 694 (276 younger (5-11 years), 418 older (12-17 years)) symptomatic children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 with Alpha infection and 706 (227 younger and 479 older) children with Delta infection. Median illness duration was short with either variant (overall cohort: 5 days (IQR 2-9.75) with Alpha, 5 days (IQR 2-9) with Delta). The seven most prevalent symptoms were common to both variants. Symptom burden over the first 28 days was slightly greater with Delta compared with Alpha infection (in younger children, 3 (IQR 2-5) symptoms with Alpha, 4 (IQR 2-7) with Delta; in older children, 5 (IQR 3-8) symptoms with Alpha, 6 (IQR 3-9) with Delta infection ). The odds of presenting several symptoms were higher with Delta than Alpha infection, including headache and fever. Few children presented to hospital, and long illness duration was uncommon, with either variant. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 in UK school-aged children due to SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain B.1.617.2 resembles illness due to the Alpha variant B.1.1.7., with short duration and similar symptom burden.

4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2110, 2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805607

ABSTRACT

The app-based COVID Symptom Study was launched in Sweden in April 2020 to contribute to real-time COVID-19 surveillance. We enrolled 143,531 study participants (≥18 years) who contributed 10.6 million daily symptom reports between April 29, 2020 and February 10, 2021. Here, we include data from 19,161 self-reported PCR tests to create a symptom-based model to estimate the individual probability of symptomatic COVID-19, with an AUC of 0.78 (95% CI 0.74-0.83) in an external dataset. These individual probabilities are employed to estimate daily regional COVID-19 prevalence, which are in turn used together with current hospital data to predict next week COVID-19 hospital admissions. We show that this hospital prediction model demonstrates a lower median absolute percentage error (MdAPE: 25.9%) across the five most populated regions in Sweden during the first pandemic wave than a model based on case notifications (MdAPE: 30.3%). During the second wave, the error rates are similar. When we apply the same model to an English dataset, not including local COVID-19 test data, we observe MdAPEs of 22.3% and 19.0% during the first and second pandemic waves, respectively, highlighting the transferability of the prediction model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Sentinel Surveillance , Sweden/epidemiology
5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330263

ABSTRACT

Background We aimed to explore the effectiveness of one-dose BNT162b2 vaccination upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its effect on COVID-19 presentation, and post-vaccination symptoms in children and young people (CYP) in the UK during periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance. Methods In this prospective longitudinal cohort study, we analysed data from 115,775 CYP aged 12-17 years, proxy-reported through the Covid Symptom Study (CSS) smartphone application. We calculated post-vaccination infection risk after one dose of BNT162b2, and described the illness profile of CYP with post-vaccination SARS- CoV-2 infection, compared to unvaccinated CYP, and post-vaccination side-effects. Findings Between August 5, 2021 and February 14, 2022, 25,971 UK CYP aged 12-17 years received one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. Vaccination reduced (proxy-reported) infection risk (-80·4% and -53·7% at 14–30 days with Delta and Omicron variants respectively, and -61·5% and -63·7% after 61–90 days). The probability of remaining infection-free diverged soon after vaccination, and was greater in CYP with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccinated CYP who contracted SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta period had milder disease than unvaccinated CYP;during the Omicron period this was only evident in children aged 12-15 years. Overall disease profile was similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated CYP. Post-vaccination local side-effects were common, systemic side-effects were uncommon, and both resolved quickly. Interpretation One dose of BNT162b2 vaccine reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 90 days in CYP aged 12-17 years. Vaccine protection varied for SARS-CoV-2 variant type (lower for Omicron than Delta variant), and was enhanced by pre-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severity of COVID-19 presentation after vaccination was generally milder, although unvaccinated CYP also had generally mild disease. Overall, vaccination was well-tolerated. Funding UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society, and ZOE Limited. Research in context Evidence before this study: We searched PubMed database for peer-reviewed articles and medRxiv for preprint papers, published between January 1, 2021 and February 15, 2022 using keywords (“SARS-CoV-2” OR “COVID-19”) AND (child* OR p?ediatric* OR teenager*) AND (“vaccin*” OR “immunization campaign”) AND (“efficacy” OR “effectiveness” OR “symptoms”) AND (“delta” or “omicron” OR “B.1.617.2” OR “B.1.1.529”). The PubMed search retrieved 36 studies, of which fewer than 30% specifically investigated individuals <18 years. Eleven studies explored SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission: seroprevalence in children (n=4), including age-dependency of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection (n=1), SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools (n=5), and the effect of school closure on viral transmission (n=1). Eighteen documents reported clinical aspects, including manifestation of infection (n=13), symptomatology, disease duration, and severity in children. Other studies estimated emergency department visits, hospitalization, need for intensive care, and/or deaths in children (n=4), and explored prognostic factors (n=1). Thirteen studies explored vaccination-related aspects, including vaccination of children within specific paediatric co-morbidity groups (e.g., children with Down syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer survivors, n=4), mRNA vaccine efficacy in children and adolescents from the general population (n=7), and the relation between vaccination and severity of disease and hospitalization cases (n=2). Four clinical trials were conducted using mRNA vaccines in minors, also xploring side effects. Sixty percent of children were found to have side effects after BNT162b2 vaccination, and especially after the second dose;however, most symptoms were mild and transient apart from rare uncomplicated skin ulcers. Two studies focused on severe adverse effects and safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in children, reporting on myocarditis episodes and two cases of Guillain-Barrè syndrome. All other studies were beyond the scope of our research. Added value of this study: We assessed multiple components of the UK vaccination campaign in a cohort of children and young people (CYP) aged 12-17 years drawn from a large UK community-based citizen-science study, who received a first dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. We describe a variant-dependent protective effect of the first dose against both Delta and Omicron, with additional protective effect of pre-vaccination SARS- CoV-2 infection on post-vaccination re-infection. We compare the illness profile in CYP infected post-vaccination with that of unvaccinated CYP, demonstrating overall milder disease with fewer symptoms for vaccinated CYP. We describe local and systemic side-effects during the first week following first-dose vaccination, confirming that local symptoms are common, systemic symptoms uncommon, and both usually transient. Implications of all the available evidence: Our data confirm that first dose BNT162b2 vaccination in CYP reduces risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2 variants, with generally local and brief side-effects. If infected after vaccination, COVID-19 is milder, if manifest at all. The study aims to contribute quantitative evidence to the risk-benefit evaluation of vaccination in CYP to inform discussion regarding rationale for their vaccination and the designing of national immunisation campaigns for this age group;and applies citizen-science approaches in the conduct of epidemiological surveillance and data collection in the UK community. Importantly, this study was conducted during Delta and Omicron predominance in UK;specificity of vaccine efficacy to variants is also illustrated;and results may not be generalizable to future SARS-CoV-2 strains.

6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(1): 43-55, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines show excellent efficacy in clinical trials and effectiveness in real-world data, but some people still become infected with SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination. This study aimed to identify risk factors for post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection and describe the characteristics of post-vaccination illness. METHODS: This prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study used self-reported data (eg, on demographics, geographical location, health risk factors, and COVID-19 test results, symptoms, and vaccinations) from UK-based, adult (≥18 years) users of the COVID Symptom Study mobile phone app. For the risk factor analysis, cases had received a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between Dec 8, 2020, and July 4, 2021; had either a positive COVID-19 test at least 14 days after their first vaccination (but before their second; cases 1) or a positive test at least 7 days after their second vaccination (cases 2); and had no positive test before vaccination. Two control groups were selected (who also had not tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 before vaccination): users reporting a negative test at least 14 days after their first vaccination but before their second (controls 1) and users reporting a negative test at least 7 days after their second vaccination (controls 2). Controls 1 and controls 2 were matched (1:1) with cases 1 and cases 2, respectively, by the date of the post-vaccination test, health-care worker status, and sex. In the disease profile analysis, we sub-selected participants from cases 1 and cases 2 who had used the app for at least 14 consecutive days after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 3 and cases 4, respectively). Controls 3 and controls 4 were unvaccinated participants reporting a positive SARS-CoV-2 test who had used the app for at least 14 consecutive days after the test, and were matched (1:1) with cases 3 and 4, respectively, by the date of the positive test, health-care worker status, sex, body-mass index (BMI), and age. We used univariate logistic regression models (adjusted for age, BMI, and sex) to analyse the associations between risk factors and post-vaccination infection, and the associations of individual symptoms, overall disease duration, and disease severity with vaccination status. FINDINGS: Between Dec 8, 2020, and July 4, 2021, 1 240 009 COVID Symptom Study app users reported a first vaccine dose, of whom 6030 (0·5%) subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 1), and 971 504 reported a second dose, of whom 2370 (0·2%) subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 2). In the risk factor analysis, frailty was associated with post-vaccination infection in older adults (≥60 years) after their first vaccine dose (odds ratio [OR] 1·93, 95% CI 1·50-2·48; p<0·0001), and individuals living in highly deprived areas had increased odds of post-vaccination infection following their first vaccine dose (OR 1·11, 95% CI 1·01-1·23; p=0·039). Individuals without obesity (BMI <30 kg/m2) had lower odds of infection following their first vaccine dose (OR 0·84, 95% CI 0·75-0·94; p=0·0030). For the disease profile analysis, 3825 users from cases 1 were included in cases 3 and 906 users from cases 2 were included in cases 4. Vaccination (compared with no vaccination) was associated with reduced odds of hospitalisation or having more than five symptoms in the first week of illness following the first or second dose, and long-duration (≥28 days) symptoms following the second dose. Almost all symptoms were reported less frequently in infected vaccinated individuals than in infected unvaccinated individuals, and vaccinated participants were more likely to be completely asymptomatic, especially if they were 60 years or older. INTERPRETATION: To minimise SARS-CoV-2 infection, at-risk populations must be targeted in efforts to boost vaccine effectiveness and infection control measures. Our findings might support caution around relaxing physical distancing and other personal protective measures in the post-vaccination era, particularly around frail older adults and individuals living in more deprived areas, even if these individuals are vaccinated, and might have implications for strategies such as booster vaccinations. FUNDING: ZOE, the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, the UK National Institute for Health Research, the UK Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, and the Alzheimer's Society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mobile Applications/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Self Report , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
7.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(9): e577-e586, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple voluntary surveillance platforms were developed across the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a real-time understanding of population-based COVID-19 epidemiology. During this time, testing criteria broadened and health-care policies matured. We aimed to test whether there were consistent associations of symptoms with SARS-CoV-2 test status across three surveillance platforms in three countries (two platforms per country), during periods of testing and policy changes. METHODS: For this observational study, we used data of observations from three volunteer COVID-19 digital surveillance platforms (Carnegie Mellon University and University of Maryland Facebook COVID-19 Symptom Survey, ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, and the Corona Israel study) targeting communities in three countries (Israel, the UK, and the USA; two platforms per country). The study population included adult respondents (age 18-100 years at baseline) who were not health-care workers. We did logistic regression of self-reported symptoms on self-reported SARS-CoV-2 test status (positive or negative), adjusted for age and sex, in each of the study cohorts. We compared odds ratios (ORs) across platforms and countries, and we did meta-analyses assuming a random effects model. We also evaluated testing policy changes, COVID-19 incidence, and time scales of duration of symptoms and symptom-to-test time. FINDINGS: Between April 1 and July 31, 2020, 514 459 tests from over 10 million respondents were recorded in the six surveillance platform datasets. Anosmia-ageusia was the strongest, most consistent symptom associated with a positive COVID-19 test (robust aggregated rank one, meta-analysed random effects OR 16·96, 95% CI 13·13-21·92). Fever (rank two, 6·45, 4·25-9·81), shortness of breath (rank three, 4·69, 3·14-7·01), and cough (rank four, 4·29, 3·13-5·88) were also highly associated with test positivity. The association of symptoms with test status varied by duration of illness, timing of the test, and broader test criteria, as well as over time, by country, and by platform. INTERPRETATION: The strong association of anosmia-ageusia with self-reported positive SARS-CoV-2 test was consistently observed, supporting its validity as a reliable COVID-19 signal, regardless of the participatory surveillance platform, country, phase of illness, or testing policy. These findings show that associations between COVID-19 symptoms and test positivity ranked similarly in a wide range of scenarios. Anosmia, fever, and respiratory symptoms consistently had the strongest effect estimates and were the most appropriate empirical signals for symptom-based public health surveillance in areas with insufficient testing or benchmarking capacity. Collaborative syndromic surveillance could enhance real-time epidemiological investigations and public health utility globally. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer's Society, Wellcome Trust, and Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , Anosmia , COVID-19 , Cough , Dyspnea , Fever , Population Surveillance/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/etiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/etiology , Digital Technology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/etiology , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
Sci Adv ; 7(12)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142980

ABSTRACT

As no one symptom can predict disease severity or the need for dedicated medical support in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we asked whether documenting symptom time series over the first few days informs outcome. Unsupervised time series clustering over symptom presentation was performed on data collected from a training dataset of completed cases enlisted early from the COVID Symptom Study Smartphone application, yielding six distinct symptom presentations. Clustering was validated on an independent replication dataset between 1 and 28 May 2020. Using the first 5 days of symptom logging, the ROC-AUC (receiver operating characteristic - area under the curve) of need for respiratory support was 78.8%, substantially outperforming personal characteristics alone (ROC-AUC 69.5%). Such an approach could be used to monitor at-risk patients and predict medical resource requirements days before they are required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted , Mobile Applications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
10.
Nat Med ; 27(4): 626-631, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127166

ABSTRACT

Reports of long-lasting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, the so-called 'long COVID', are rising but little is known about prevalence, risk factors or whether it is possible to predict a protracted course early in the disease. We analyzed data from 4,182 incident cases of COVID-19 in which individuals self-reported their symptoms prospectively in the COVID Symptom Study app1. A total of 558 (13.3%) participants reported symptoms lasting ≥28 days, 189 (4.5%) for ≥8 weeks and 95 (2.3%) for ≥12 weeks. Long COVID was characterized by symptoms of fatigue, headache, dyspnea and anosmia and was more likely with increasing age and body mass index and female sex. Experiencing more than five symptoms during the first week of illness was associated with long COVID (odds ratio = 3.53 (2.76-4.50)). A simple model to distinguish between short COVID and long COVID at 7 days (total sample size, n = 2,149) showed an area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curve of 76%, with replication in an independent sample of 2,472 individuals who were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. This model could be used to identify individuals at risk of long COVID for trials of prevention or treatment and to plan education and rehabilitation services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Time Factors
11.
medRxiv ; 2020 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915975

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As many countries seek to slow the spread of COVID-19 without reimposing national restrictions, it has become important to track the disease at a local level to identify areas in need of targeted intervention. METHODS: We performed modelling on longitudinal, self-reported data from users of the COVID Symptom Study app in England between 24 March and 29 September, 2020. Combining a symptom-based predictive model for COVID-19 positivity and RT-PCR tests provided by the Department of Health we were able to estimate disease incidence, prevalence and effective reproduction number. Geographically granular estimates were used to highlight regions with rapidly increasing case numbers, or hotspots. FINDINGS: More than 2.8 million app users in England provided 120 million daily reports of their symptoms, and recorded the results of 170,000 PCR tests. On a national level our estimates of incidence and prevalence showed similar sensitivity to changes as two national community surveys: the ONS and REACT-1 studies. On 28 September 2020 we estimated 15,841 (95% CI 14,023-17,885) daily cases, a prevalence of 0.53% (95% CI 0.45-0.60), and R(t) of 1.17 (95% credible interval 1.15-1.19) in England. On a geographically granular level, on 28 September 2020 we detected 15 of the 20 regions with highest incidence according to Government test data, with indications that our method may be able to detect rapid case increases in regions where Government testing provision is more limited. INTERPRETATION: Self-reported data from mobile applications can provide an agile resource to inform policymakers during a fast-moving pandemic, serving as an independent and complementary resource to more traditional instruments for disease surveillance. FUNDING: Zoe Global Limited, Department of Health, Wellcome Trust, EPSRC, NIHR, MRC, Alzheimer's Society.

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