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1.
Euro Surveill ; 27(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613512

ABSTRACT

Serum samples were collected pre- and post-booster vaccination with Comirnaty in 626 participants (aged ≥ 50 years) who had received two Comirnaty doses < 30 days apart, two Comirnaty doses ≥ 30 days apart or two Vaxzevria doses ≥ 30 days apart. Irrespective of primary vaccine type or schedule, spike antibody GMTs peaked 2-4 weeks after second dose, fell significantly ≤ 38 weeks later and rose above primary immunisation GMTs 2-4 weeks post-booster. Higher post-booster responses were observed with a longer interval between primary immunisation and boosting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , London , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
2.
Transplantation ; 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604080

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The clinical effectiveness of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in immunosuppressed solid organ and islet transplant (SOT) recipients is unclear. METHODS: We linked 4 national registries to retrospectively identify laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths within 28 d in England between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, comparing unvaccinated adult SOT recipients and those who had received 2 doses of ChAdOx1-S or BNT162b2 vaccine. Infection incidence rate ratios were adjusted for recipient demographics and calendar month using a negative binomial regression model, with 95% confidence intervals. Case fatality rate ratios were adjusted using a Cox proportional hazards model to generate hazard ratio (95% confidence interval). RESULTS: On August 31, 2021, it was found that 3080 (7.1%) were unvaccinated, 1141 (2.6%) had 1 vaccine dose, and 39 260 (90.3%) had 2 vaccine doses. There were 4147 SARS-CoV-2 infections and 407 deaths (unadjusted case fatality rate 9.8%). The risk-adjusted infection incidence rate ratio was 1.29 (1.03-1.61), implying that vaccination was not associated with reduction in risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Overall, the hazard ratio for death within 28 d of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0.80 (0.63-1.00), a 20% reduction in risk of death in vaccinated patients (P = 0.05). Two doses of ChAdOx1-S were associated with a significantly reduced risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.69; 0.52-0.92), whereas vaccination with BNT162b2 was not (0.97; 0.71-1.31). CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination of SOT recipients confers some protection against SARS-CoV-2-related mortality, but this protection is inferior to that achieved in the general population. SOT recipients require additional protective measures, including further vaccine doses, antiviral drugs, and nonpharmaceutical interventions.

3.
J Infect ; 2022 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are highly effective in general population cohorts, however, data on effectiveness among individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe disease are limited. METHODS: We used GP electronic health record data, sentinel virology swabbing and antibody testing within a cohort of 712 general practices across England to estimate vaccine antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against medically attended COVID-19 among individuals in clinical risk groups using cohort and test-negative case control designs. FINDINGS: There was no reduction in S-antibody positivity in most clinical risk groups, however reduced S-antibody positivity and response was significant in the immunosuppressed group. Reduced vaccine effectiveness against clinical disease was also noted in the immunosuppressed group; after a second dose, effectiveness was moderate (Pfizer: 59.6%, 95%CI 18.0-80.1%; AstraZeneca 60.0%, 95%CI -63.6-90.2%). INTERPRETATION: In most clinical risk groups, immune response to primary vaccination was maintained and high levels of vaccine effectiveness were seen. Reduced antibody response and vaccine effectiveness were seen after 1 dose of vaccine among a broad immunosuppressed group, and second dose vaccine effectiveness was moderate. These findings support maximising coverage in immunosuppressed individuals and the policy of prioritisation of this group for third doses.

4.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297070

ABSTRACT

Background: There are limited data on immune responses to heterologous COVID–19 immunisation schedules, especially following an extended ≥12–week interval between doses. Methods: SARS–CoV–2 infection–naïve and previously–infected adults receiving ChAd–BNT (ChAdOx1 nCoV–19, AstraZeneca followed by BNT162b2, Pfizer–BioNTech) or BNT–ChAd as part of the UK national immunisation programme provided blood samples at 30 days and 12 weeks after their second dose. Geometric mean concentrations (GMC) of anti–SARS–CoV–2 spike (S-antibody) and nucleoprotein (N-antibody) IgG antibodies and geometric mean ratios (GMR) were compared with a contemporaneous cohort receiving homologous ChAd–ChAd or BNT–BNT. Results: During March–October 2021, 75,827 individuals were identified as having received heterologous vaccination, 9,489 invited to participate, 1,836 responded (19.3%) and 656 were eligible. In previously–uninfected adults, S–antibody GMC at 30 days post–second dose were lowest for ChAd–ChAd (862 (95%CI, 694– 1069)) and significantly higher for ChAd–BNT (6233 (5522– 7035);GMR 6.29;(5.04– 7.85);p<0.001), BNT-ChAd (4776 (4066– 5610);GMR 4.55 (3.56– 5.81);p<0.001) and BNT–BNT (5377 (4596– 6289);GMR 5.66 (4.49– 7.15);p<0.001). By 12 weeks after dose two, S–antibody GMC had declined in all groups and remained significantly lower for ChAd–ChAd compared to ChAd–BNT (GMR 5.12 (3.79– 6.92);p<0.001), BNT–ChAd (GMR 4.1 (2.96– 5.69);p<0.001) and BNT–BNT (GMR 6.06 (4.32– 8.50);p<0.001). Previously infected adults had higher S–antibody GMC compared to infection–naïve adults at all time–points and with all vaccine schedules. Conclusions: These real–world findings demonstrate heterologous schedules with adenoviral–vector and mRNA vaccines are highly immunogenic and may be recommended after a serious adverse reaction to one vaccine product, or to increase programmatic flexibility where vaccine supplies are constrained.

5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7217, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565716

ABSTRACT

The UK prioritised delivery of the first dose of BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and AZD1222 (AstraZeneca) vaccines by extending the interval between doses up to 12 weeks. In 750 participants aged 50-89 years, we here compare serological responses after BNT162b2 and AZD1222 vaccination with varying dose intervals, and evaluate these against real-world national vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates against COVID-19 in England. We show that antibody levels 14-35 days after dose two are higher in BNT162b2 recipients with an extended vaccine interval (65-84 days) compared with those vaccinated with a standard (19-29 days) interval. Following the extended schedule, antibody levels were 6-fold higher at 14-35 days post dose 2 for BNT162b2 than AZD1222. For both vaccines, VE was higher across all age-groups from 14 days after dose two compared to one dose, but the magnitude varied with dose interval. Higher dose two VE was observed with >6 week interval between BNT162b2 doses compared to the standard schedule. Our findings suggest higher effectiveness against infection using an extended vaccine schedule. Given global vaccine constraints these results are relevant to policymakers.

7.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(12): e811-e819, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541059

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the duration of protection and risk of reinfection after natural infection is crucial to planning COVID-19 vaccination for at-risk groups, including care home residents, particularly with the emergence of more transmissible variants. We report on the duration, neutralising activity, and protection against the alpha variant of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in care home residents and staff infected more than 6 months previously. Methods: We did this prospective observational cohort surveillance in 13 care homes in Greater London, England. All staff and residents were included. Staff and residents had regular nose and throat screening for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR according to national guidelines, with ad hoc testing of symptomatic individuals. From January, 2021, antigen lateral flow devices were also used, but positive tests still required RT-PCR confirmation. Staff members took the swab samples for themselves and the residents. The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive primary infection or reinfection in previously infected individuals, as determined by previous serological testing and screening or diagnostic RT-PCR results. Poisson regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate protective effectiveness of previous exposure. SARS-CoV-2 spike, nucleoprotein, and neutralising antibodies were assessed at multiple timepoints as part of the longitudinal follow-up. Findings: Between April 10 and Aug 3, 2020, we recruited and tested 1625 individuals (933 staff and 692 residents). 248 participants were lost to follow-up (123 staff and 125 residents) and 1377 participants were included in the follow-up period to Jan 31, 2021 (810 staff and 567 residents). There were 23 reinfections (ten confirmed, eight probable, five possible) in 656 previously infected individuals (366 staff and 290 residents), compared with 165 primary infections in 721 susceptible individuals (444 staff and 277 residents). Those with confirmed reinfections had no or low neutralising antibody concentration before reinfection, with boosting of titres after reinfection. Kinetics of binding and neutralising antibodies were similar in older residents and younger staff. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 reinfections were rare in older residents and younger staff. Protection from SARS-CoV-2 was sustained for longer than 9 months, including against the alpha variant. Reinfection was associated with no or low neutralising antibody before reinfection, but significant boosting occurred on reinfection. Funding: Public Health England.

8.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292973

ABSTRACT

Importance: There are limited data on immune responses after COVID-19 vaccine boosters in individuals receiving primary immunisation with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or AZD1222 (AstraZeneca) Objective: To assess SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses before and after booster vaccination with BNT162b2 in adults receiving two BNT162b2 or AZD1222 vaccine doses at least 6 months previously, as part of the United Kingdom national immunisation schedule Design: Prospective, cohort study Setting: London, England Participants: 750 immunocompetent adults aged ≥50 years Interventions: A single dose of BNT162b2 administered at least six months after primary immunisation with two doses of BNT162b2 given <30 days apart (BNT162b2-control) or ≥30 days apart (BNT162b2-extended) compared to AZD1222 given ≥30 days apart (AZD1222-extended) Main Outcome and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody geometric mean titres (GMTs) before and 2-4 weeks after booster Results: Of 750 participants, 626 provided serum samples for up to 38 weeks after their second vaccine dose. Antibody GMTs peaked at 2-4 weeks after the second dose, before declining by 68% at 36-38 weeks after dose 2 for BNT162b2-control participants, 85% at 24-29 weeks for BNT162b2-extended participants and 78% at 24-29 weeks for AZD1222-extended participants. Antibody GMTs was highest in BNT162b2-extended participants (942 [95%CI, 797-1113]) than AZD1222-extended (183 [124-268]) participants at 24-29 weeks or BNT162b2-control participants at 36-38 weeks (208;95%CI, 150-289). At 2-4 weeks after booster, GMTs were significantly higher than after primary vaccination in all three groups: 18,104 (95%CI, 13,911-23,560;n=47) in BNT162b2-control (76.3-fold), 13,980 (11,902-16,421;n=118) in BNT162b2-extended (15.9-fold) and 10,799 (8,510-13,704;n=43) in AZD1222-extended (57.2-fold) participants. BNT162b2-control participants (median:262 days) had a longer interval between primary and booster doses than BNT162b2-extended or AZD1222-extended (both median:186 days) participants. Conclusions and Relevance: We observed rapid serological responses to boosting with BNT162b2, irrespective of vaccine type or schedule used for primary immunisation, with higher post-booster responses with longer interval between primary immunisation and boosting. Boosters will not only provide additional protection for those at highest risk of severe COVID-19 but also prevent infection and, therefore, interrupt transmission, thereby reducing infections rates in the population. Ongoing surveillance will be important for monitoring the duration of protection after the booster.

10.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(7): 1795-1801, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278355

ABSTRACT

We describe results of testing blood donors in London, UK, for severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG before and after lockdown measures. Anonymized samples from donors 17-69 years of age were tested using 3 assays: Euroimmun IgG, Abbott IgG, and an immunoglobulin receptor-binding domain assay developed by Public Health England. Seroprevalence increased from 3.0% prelockdown (week 13, beginning March 23, 2020) to 10.4% during lockdown (weeks 15-16) and 12.3% postlockdown (week 18) by the Abbott assay. Estimates were 2.9% prelockdown, 9.9% during lockdown, and 13.0% postlockdown by the Euroimmun assay and 3.5% prelockdown, 11.8% during lockdown, and 14.1% postlockdown by the receptor-binding domain assay. By early May 2020, nearly 1 in 7 donors had evidence of past SARS-CoV-2 infection. Combining results from the Abbott and Euroimmun assays increased seroprevalence by 1.6%, 2.3%, and 0.6% at the 3 timepoints compared with Euroimmun alone, demonstrating the value of using multiple assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , Communicable Disease Control , England , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , London/epidemiology , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United Kingdom
11.
J Infect ; 83(2): 237-279, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225296

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 vaccination programme commenced in England on 8th December 2020 primarily based on age; by 7th March 2021 approximately 93% of the English population aged 70+ years had received at least 1 dose of either the Pfizer BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines. Using a nucleoprotein assay that detects antibodies following natural infection only and a spike assay that detects infection and vaccine-induced responses, we aim to describe the impact of vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in English blood donors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged , Antibody Formation , Blood Donors , England/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Vaccination
12.
J Infect ; 83(1): 104-111, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1210060

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In England, the reopening of universities in September 2020 coincided with a rapid increase in SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in university aged young adults. This study aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in students attending universities that had experienced a COVID-19 outbreak after reopening for the autumn term in September 2020. METHODS: A cross-sectional serosurvey was conducted during 02-11 December 2020 in students aged ≤ 25 years across five universities in England. Blood samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing were obtained using a self-sampling kit and analysed using the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 N antibody and/or an in-house receptor binding domain (RBD) assay. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in 2,905 university students was 17.8% (95%CI, 16.5-19.3), ranging between 7.6%-29.7% across the five universities. Seropositivity was associated with being younger likely to represent first year undergraduates (aOR 3.2, 95% CI 2.0-4.9), living in halls of residence (aOR 2.1, 95% CI 1.7-2.7) and sharing a kitchen with an increasing number of students (shared with 4-7 individuals, aOR 1.43, 95%CI 1.12-1.82; shared with 8 or more individuals, aOR 1.53, 95% CI 1.04-2.24). Seropositivity was 49% in students living in halls of residence that reported high SARS-CoV-2 infection rates (>8%) during the autumn term. INTERPRETATION: Despite large numbers of cases and outbreaks in universities, less than one in five students (17.8%) overall had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the end of the autumn term in England. In university halls of residence affected by a COVID-19 outbreak, however, nearly half the resident students became infected and developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Students , Universities , Young Adult
13.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 3: 100038, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192394

ABSTRACT

Background: Care homes have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the potential role of asymptomatic infection and silent transmission in London care homes that reported no cases of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. Methods: Five care homes with no cases and two care homes reporting a single case of COVID-19 (non-outbreak homes) were investigated with nasal swabbing for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and serology for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies five weeks later. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on RT-PCR positive samples. Serology results were compared with those of six care homes with recognised outbreaks. Findings: Across seven non-outbreak homes, 718 (387 staff, 331 residents) individuals had a nasal swab and 651 (386 staff, 265 residents) had follow-up serology. Sixteen individuals (13 residents, 3 staff) in five care homes with no reported cases were RT-PCR positive (care home positivity rates, 0 to 7.6%) compared to 13 individuals (3.0 and 10.8% positivity) in two homes reporting a single case.Seropositivity across these seven homes varied between 10.7-56.5%, with four exceeding community seroprevalence in London (14.8%). Seropositivity rates for staff and residents correlated significantly (rs 0.84, [95% CI 0.51-0.95] p <0.001) across the 13 homes. WGS identified multiple introductions into some homes and silent transmission of a single lineage between staff and residents in one home. Interpretation: We found high rates of asymptomatic infection and transmission even in care homes with no COVID-19 cases. The higher seropositivity rates compared to RT-PCR positivity highlights the true extent of the silent outbreak. Funding: PHE.

14.
Euro Surveill ; 26(12)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154193

ABSTRACT

Sera were collected from 185 adults aged ≥ 70 years in London to evaluate the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. A single dose of Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine resulted in > 94% seropositivity after 3 weeks in naïve individuals using the Roche Spike antibody assay, while two doses produced very high spike antibody levels, significantly higher than convalescent sera from mild-to-moderate PCR-confirmed adult cases. Our findings support the United Kingdom's approach of prioritising the first dose and delaying the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Humans , London
15.
J Infect ; 82(5): 162-169, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibody waning after SARS-CoV-2 infection may result in reduction in long-term immunity following natural infection and vaccination, and is therefore a major public health issue. We undertook prospective serosurveillance in a large cohort of healthy adults from the start of the epidemic in England. METHODS: Clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers were recruited across three English regions and tested monthly from March to November 2020 for SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and nucleoprotein (N) antibodies using five different immunoassays. In positive individuals, antibody responses and long-term trends were modelled using mixed effects regression. FINDINGS: In total, 2246 individuals attended 12,247 visits and 264 were seropositive in ≥ 2 assays. Most seroconversions occurred between March and April 2020. The assays showed > 85% agreement for ever-positivity, although this changed markedly over time. Antibodies were detected earlier with Abbott (N) but declined rapidly thereafter. With the EuroImmun (S) and receptor-binding domain (RBD) assays, responses increased for 4 weeks then fell until week 12-16 before stabilising. For Roche (N), responses increased until 8 weeks, stabilised, then declined, but most remained above the positive threshold. For Roche (S), responses continued to climb over the full 24 weeks, with no sero-reversions. Predicted proportions sero-reverting after 52 weeks were 100% for Abbott, 59% (95% credible interval 50-68%) Euroimmun, 41% (30-52%) RBD, 10% (8-14%) Roche (N) < 2% Roche (S). INTERPRETATION: Trends in SARS-CoV-2 antibodies following infection are highly dependent on the assay used. Ongoing serosurveillance using multiple assays is critical for monitoring the course and long-term progression of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , England , Health Personnel , Humans , Prospective Studies , Public Health
16.
PLoS Med ; 18(2): e1003523, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE) strategy was launched in 2017 in response to the resurgence of yellow fever in Africa and the Americas. The strategy relies on several vaccination activities, including preventive mass vaccination campaigns (PMVCs). However, to what extent PMVCs are associated with a decreased risk of outbreak has not yet been quantified. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used the self-controlled case series (SCCS) method to assess the association between the occurrence of yellow fever outbreaks and the implementation of PMVCs at the province level in the African endemic region. As all time-invariant confounders are implicitly controlled for in the SCCS method, this method is an alternative to classical cohort or case-control study designs when the risk of residual confounding is high, in particular confounding by indication. The locations and dates of outbreaks were identified from international epidemiological records, and information on PMVCs was provided by coordinators of vaccination activities and international funders. The study sample consisted of provinces that were both affected by an outbreak and targeted for a PMVC between 2005 and 2018. We compared the incidence of outbreaks before and after the implementation of a PMVC. The sensitivity of our estimates to a range of assumptions was explored, and the results of the SCCS method were compared to those obtained through a retrospective cohort study design. We further derived the number of yellow fever outbreaks that have been prevented by PMVCs. The study sample consisted of 33 provinces from 11 African countries. Among these, the first outbreak occurred during the pre-PMVC period in 26 (79%) provinces, and during the post-PMVC period in 7 (21%) provinces. At the province level, the post-PMVC period was associated with an 86% reduction (95% CI 66% to 94%, p < 0.001) in the risk of outbreak as compared to the pre-PMVC period. This negative association between exposure to PMVCs and outbreak was robustly observed across a range of sensitivity analyses, especially when using quantitative estimates of vaccination coverage as an alternative exposure measure, or when varying the observation period. In contrast, the results of the cohort-style analyses were highly sensitive to the choice of covariates included in the model. Based on the SCCS results, we estimated that PMVCs were associated with a 34% (95% CI 22% to 45%) reduction in the number of outbreaks in Africa from 2005 to 2018. A limitation of our study is the fact that it does not account for potential time-varying confounders, such as changing environmental drivers of yellow fever and possibly improved disease surveillance. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we provide new empirical evidence of the high preventive impact of PMVCs on yellow fever outbreaks. This study illustrates that the SCCS method can be advantageously applied at the population level in order to evaluate a public health intervention.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Yellow Fever/epidemiology , Yellow Fever/prevention & control , Americas , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Incidence
18.
19.
Euro Surveill ; 25(28)2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-647503

ABSTRACT

England has experienced one of the highest excess in all-cause mortality in Europe during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 emerged, the excess in all-cause mortality rapidly increased, starting in March 2020. The excess observed during the pandemic was higher than excesses noted in the past 5 years. It concerned all regions and all age groups, except the 0-14 year olds, but was more pronounced in the London region and in those aged ≥ 85 years.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Algorithms , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Poisson Distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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