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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263155, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793533

ABSTRACT

With limited availability of vaccines, an efficient use of the limited supply of vaccines in order to achieve herd immunity will be an important tool to combat the wide-spread prevalence of COVID-19. Here, we compare a selection of strategies for vaccine distribution, including a novel targeted vaccination approach (EHR) that provides a noticeable increase in vaccine impact on disease spread compared to age-prioritized and random selection vaccination schemes. Using high-fidelity individual-based computer simulations with Oslo, Norway as an example, we find that for a community reproductive number in a setting where the base pre-vaccination reproduction number R = 2.1 without population immunity, the EHR method reaches herd immunity at 48% of the population vaccinated with 90% efficiency, whereas the common age-prioritized approach needs 89%, and a population-wide random selection approach requires 61%. We find that age-based strategies have a substantially weaker impact on epidemic spread and struggle to achieve herd immunity under the majority of conditions. Furthermore, the vaccination of minors is essential to achieving herd immunity, even for ideal vaccines providing 100% protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epidemics , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination , Vaccines
2.
Science ; 375(6585): 1088-1089, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736007

ABSTRACT

How much do COVID-19 vaccines reduce transmission? The answer is a moving target.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunity, Herd , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/veterinary
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1554, 2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655625

ABSTRACT

Governments worldwide are implementing mass vaccination programs in an effort to end the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we evaluated the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination program in its early stage and predicted the path to herd immunity in the U.S. By early March 2021, we estimated that vaccination reduced the total number of new cases by 4.4 million (from 33.0 to 28.6 million), prevented approximately 0.12 million hospitalizations (from 0.89 to 0.78 million), and decreased the population infection rate by 1.34 percentage points (from 10.10 to 8.76%). We built a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model with vaccination to predict herd immunity, following the trends from the early-stage vaccination program. Herd immunity could be achieved earlier with a faster vaccination pace, lower vaccine hesitancy, and higher vaccine effectiveness. The Delta variant has substantially postponed the predicted herd immunity date, through a combination of reduced vaccine effectiveness, lowered recovery rate, and increased infection and death rates. These findings improve our understanding of the COVID-19 vaccination and can inform future public health policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology
4.
J Korean Med Sci ; 37(3): e23, 2022 Jan 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637689

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The military was one of the first groups in Korea to complete mass vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to their high vulnerability to COVID-19. To confirm the effect of mass vaccination, this study analyzed the patterns of confirmed cases within Korean military units. METHODS: From August 1 to September 15, 2021, all epidemiological data regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases in military units were reviewed. The number of confirmed cases in the units that were believed to have achieved herd immunity (i.e., ≥ 70% vaccination) was compared with the number of cases in the units that were not believed to have reached herd immunity (< 70% vaccination). Additionally, trends in the incidence rates of COVID-19 in the military and the entire Korean population were compared. RESULTS: By August 2021, 85.60% of military personnel were fully vaccinated. During the study period, a total of 174 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the 39 units. More local transmission (herd immunity group vs. non-herd immunity group [%], 1 [0.91] vs. 39 [60.94]) and hospitalizations (12 [11.01] vs. 13 [27.08]) occurred in the units that were not believed to have achieved herd immunity. The percentage of fully vaccinated individuals among the confirmed COVID-19 cases increased over time, possibly due to the prevalence of the delta variant. Nevertheless, the incidence rate remained lower in military units than in the general Korean population. CONCLUSION: After completing mass vaccination, the incidence rates of COVID-19 infection in the military were lower than those in the national population. New cluster infections did not occur in vaccinated units, thereby suggesting that herd immunity has been achieved in these military units. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which levels of non-pharmacological intervention can be reduced in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Military Personnel/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Incidence , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
6.
Int Immunol ; 33(10): 507-513, 2021 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575069

ABSTRACT

Understanding the precise nature and durability of protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is essential in order to gain insight into the pathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to develop novel treatment strategies to this disease. Here, I succinctly summarize what is currently known and unknown about the immune response during COVID-19 and discuss whether natural infections can lead to herd immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Animals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
7.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6765-6777, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544330

ABSTRACT

Avidity is defined as the binding strength of immunoglobulin G (IgG) toward its target epitope. Avidity is directly related to affinity, as both processes are determined by the best fit of IgG to epitopes. We confirm and extend data on incomplete avidity maturation of IgG toward severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleoprotein (NP), spike protein-1 (S1), and its receptor-binding domain (RBD) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, an initial rise in avidity maturation was ending abruptly, leading to IgG of persistently low or intermediate avidity. Incomplete avidity maturation might facilitate secondary SARS-CoV-2 infections and thus prevent the establishment of herd immunity. Incomplete avidity maturation after infection with SARS-CoV-2 (with only 11.8% of cases showing finally IgG of high avidity, that is, an avidity index > 0.6) was contrasted by regular and rapid establishment of high avidity in SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals after two vaccination steps with the BioNTech messenger RNA (mRNA) Vaccine (78% of cases with high avidity). One vaccination step was not sufficient for induction of complete avidity maturation in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals, as it induced high avidity only in 2.9% of cases within 3 weeks. However, one vaccination step was sufficient to induce high avidity in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Immunologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
8.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(38): e272, 2021 Oct 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450797

ABSTRACT

The proportion of population vaccinated cannot be directly translated into the herd immunity. We have to account for the age-stratified contact patterns to calculate the population immunity level, since not every individual gathers evenly. Here, we calculated the contact-adjusted population immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in South Korea using age-specific incidence and vaccine uptake rate. We further explored options to achieve the theoretical herd immunity with age-varying immunity scenarios. As of June 21, 2021, when a quarter of the population received at least one dose of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, the contact-adjusted immunity level was 12.5% under the social distancing level 1. When 80% of individuals aged 10 years and over gained immunity, we could achieve a 58.2% contact-adjusted immunity level. The pros and cons of vaccinating children should be weighed since the risks of COVID-19 for the young are less than the elderly, and the long-term safety of vaccines is still obscure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Mass Vaccination , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Republic of Korea , Social Interaction
9.
S Afr Med J ; 111(9): 852-856, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404042

ABSTRACT

Mutations of SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with increased transmissibility and occasionally reduced sensitivity to neutralising antibody activity induced by past ancestry virus infection or current COVID-19 vaccines. Nevertheless, COVID-19 vaccines have consistently demonstrated high efficacy and effectiveness against COVID-19 severe disease, hospitalisation and death, including disease caused by designated variants of concern. In contrast, COVID-19 vaccines are more heterogeneous in reducing the risk of infection and mild COVID19, and are modestly effective in interrupting virus transmission. Ongoing mutations of SARS-CoV-2 resulting in increased transmissibility and relative evasion of neutralising antibody activity induced by past virus infection or COVID-19 vaccines are likely. The duration of protection induced by COVID-19 vaccines is modelled to be relatively short in protecting against infection and mild COVID-19, but is likely to be 2 - 3 years against severe disease. Current experience from the UK and Israel demonstrates that even with high levels of COVID19 vaccine coverage (>85% of the adult population), resurgences with new variants of concern remain a strong probability. Nevertheless, such resurgences are not mirrored by high rates of hospitalisation and death compared with what was experienced in relatively COVID-19 vaccine-naive populations. Even though COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to result in a herd immunity state, their ability to protect against severe COVID-19 and death could allow for a return to normalcy once a large enough proportion of the adult population in a country has been vaccinated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Patient Acuity , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Time Factors
12.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e153, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294411

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is still ongoing along with the global vaccination efforts against it. Here, we aimed to understand the longevity and strength of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG responses in a small community (n = 283) six months following local SARS-COV-2 outbreak in March 2020. Three serological assays were compared and neutralisation capability was also determined. Overall 16.6% (47/283) of the participants were seropositive and 89.4% (42/47) of the IgG positives had neutralising antibodies. Most of the symptomatic individuals confirmed as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive during the outbreak were seropositive (30/32, 93.8%) and 33.3% of the individuals who quarantined with a PCR confirmed patient had antibodies. Serological assays comparison revealed that Architect (Abbott) targeting the N protein LIASON® (DiaSorin) targeting the S protein and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) targeting receptor binding domain detected 9.5% (27/283), 17.3% (49/283) and 17% (48/283), respectively, as IgG positives. The latter two assays highly agreed (kappa = 0.89) between each other. In addition, 95%, (19/20, by ELISA) and 90.9% (20/22, with LIASON) and only 71.4% (15/21, by Architect) of individuals that were seropositive in May 2020 were found positive also in September. The unexpected low rate of overall immunity indicates the absence of un-noticed, asymptomatic infections. Lack of overall high correlation between the assays is attributed mainly to target-mediated antibody responses and suggests that using a single serological assay may be misleading.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Time Factors , Young Adult
14.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224256

ABSTRACT

The future prevalence and virulence of SARS-CoV-2 is uncertain. Some emerging pathogens become avirulent as populations approach herd immunity. Although not all viruses follow this path, the fact that the seasonal coronaviruses are benign gives some hope. We develop a general mathematical model to predict when the interplay among three factors, correlation of severity in consecutive infections, population heterogeneity in susceptibility due to age, and reduced severity due to partial immunity, will promote avirulence as SARS-CoV-2 becomes endemic. Each of these components has the potential to limit severe, high-shedding cases over time under the right circumstances, but in combination they can rapidly reduce the frequency of more severe and infectious manifestation of disease over a wide range of conditions. As more reinfections are captured in data over the next several years, these models will help to test if COVID-19 severity is beginning to attenuate in the ways our model predicts, and to predict the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Disease Eradication/methods , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seasons
15.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1739-1742, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206811

ABSTRACT

Here we present results from a survey on anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence in healthy blood donors from a low incidence coronavirus disease 2019 area (Apulia region, South Eastern Italy). Among 904 subjects tested, only in nine cases (0.99%) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were demonstrated. All the nine seropositive patients were negative for the research of viral RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in nasopharyngeal swabs. These data, along with those recently reported from other countries, clearly show that we are very far from herd immunity and that the containment measures are at the moment the only realistic instrument we have to slow the spread of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/immunology , Young Adult
20.
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