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medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.09.30.22280166


As vaccines have become available for COVID-19, it is important to understand factors that may impact response. The objective of this study is to describe vaccine response in a well-characterized Northern California cohort, including differences in side-effects and antibody response by vaccine type, sex, and age, as well as describe responses in subjects with pre-existing health conditions that are known risk factors for more severe COVID-19 infection. From July 2020 to March 2021, ~5,500 adults from the East Bay Area in Northern California were followed as part of a longitudinal cohort study. Comprehensive questionnaire data and biospecimens for COVID-19 antibody testing were collected at multiple time-points. All subjects were at least 18 years of age and members of the East-Bay COVID-19 cohort who answered questionnaires related to vaccination status and side-effects at two time-points. Three vaccines, Moderna (2 doses), Pfizer-BioNTech (2 doses), and Johnson & Johnson (single dose), were examined as exposures. Additionally, pre-existing health conditions were assessed. The main outcomes of interest were anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike antibody response (measured by S/C ratio in the Ortho VITROS assay) and self-reporting of 11 potential vaccine side effects. When comparing both doses of the Moderna vaccine to respective doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, participants receiving the Moderna vaccine had higher odds of many reported side-effects. The same was true comparing the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to dose 2 of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The antibody S/C ratio also increased with each additional side-effect after the second dose. S/C ratios after vaccination were lower in participants aged 65 and older, and higher in females. At all vaccination timepoints, Moderna vaccine recipients had a higher S/C ratio. Individuals who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech had a 72.4% lower S/C ratio compared to those who were fully vaccinated with Moderna. Subjects with asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease all demonstrated more than a 20% decrease in S/C ratio. In support of previous findings, we show that antibody response to the Moderna vaccine is higher than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. We also observed that antibody response was associated with side-effects, and participants with a history of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease had lower antibody responses. This information is important to consider as further vaccines are recommended.

Diabetes Mellitus , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Asthma , Encephalitis, California
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.02.21266871


Comprehensive data on transmission mitigation behaviors and SARS-CoV-2 infection and serostatus are needed from large, community-based cohorts to identify SARS-CoV-2 risk factors and impact of public health measures. From July 2020 to March 2021, {approx}5,500 adults from the East Bay Area, California were followed over three data collection rounds. We estimated the prevalence of antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination, and self-reported COVID-19 test positivity. Population-adjusted SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was low, increasing from 1.03% (95% CI: 0.50-1.96) in Round 1 (July-September 2020), to 1.37% (95% CI: 0.75-2.39) in Round 2 (October-December 2020), to 2.18% (95% CI: 1.48-3.17) in Round 3 (February-March 2021). Population-adjusted seroprevalence of COVID-19 vaccination was 21.64% (95% CI: 19.20-24.34) in Round 3. Despite >99% of participants reporting wearing masks, non-Whites, lower-income, and lower-educated individuals had the highest SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and lowest vaccination seroprevalence. Our results demonstrate that more effective policies are needed to address these disparities and inequities.

medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.11.25.21266786


Serological surveillance studies of infectious diseases provide population-level estimates of infection and antibody prevalence, generating crucial insight into population-level immunity, risk factors leading to infection, and effectiveness of public health measures. These studies traditionally rely on detection of pathogen-specific antibodies in samples derived from venipuncture, an expensive and logistically challenging aspect of serological surveillance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines implemented to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection made collection of venous blood logistically difficult at a time when SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance was urgently needed. Dried blood spots (DBS) have generated interest as an alternative to venous blood for SARS-CoV-2 serological applications due to their stability, low cost, and ease of collection; DBS samples can be self-generated via fingerprick by community members and mailed at ambient temperatures. Here, we detail the development of four DBS-based SARS-CoV-2 serological methods and demonstrate their implementation in a large serological survey of community members from 12 cities in the East Bay region of the San Francisco metropolitan area using at-home DBS collection. We find that DBS perform similarly to plasma/serum in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and commercial SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. In addition, we show that DBS samples can reliably detect antibody responses months post-infection and track antibody kinetics after vaccination. Implementation of DBS enabled collection of valuable serological data from our study population to investigate changes in seroprevalence over an eight-month period. Our work makes a strong argument for the implementation of DBS in serological studies, not just for SARS-CoV-2, but any situation where phlebotomy is inaccessible.

Communicable Diseases , COVID-19