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Vaccines, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 135 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The process of immune-informatics-based MHC peptide vaccine design generally involves the consideration of a few relevant parameters, such as peptide binding affinity and immunogenicity. However, many vaccines that are effective in silico can fail in preclinical or clinical trials due to not accounting for other clinical properties. We have identified several clinical variables that are relevant in the design of effective peptide vaccines: binding affinity, immunogenicity, antigenicity, half-life, toxicity, IFNγ release, and instability. We developed an epitope selection method that incorporates these clinical parameters and used the method to develop an HRAS-targeting epitope vaccine for squamous cell carcinoma. This method can be widely applicable to design a durable vaccine for other diseases. View this paper
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccination Willingness and Acceptability in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Cross Sectional Study in Iran
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010135 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 636
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, predominantly immune-mediated degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Due to prolonged use of immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive medications, vaccine hesitancy could be common among MS patients. Our main aim in the current study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, predominantly immune-mediated degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Due to prolonged use of immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive medications, vaccine hesitancy could be common among MS patients. Our main aim in the current study was to evaluate the willingness and acceptability of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with MS. In our multicenter cross-sectional questionnaire-based clinical study, 892 patients completed the questionnaire between May to June 2021. The questionnaire consisted of demographic data, MS disease-related factors, history of COVID-19 infection/vaccination, and any existing comorbidities. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software version 19. Overall, 68% of the participants expressed willingness to be vaccinated. Major causes of vaccine refusal in our patients were the fear of reducing the efficacy of disease modifying drugs (DMDs) upon vaccination as well as distrusting the vaccines and overestimation bias in the power of their innate immunity and potential COVID-19 resistance. Some demographic factors affected vaccination enthusiasm in our study. Our findings did not show significant correlation between the age and comorbidity and vaccine willingness. Only one-third of our patients received their vaccine information from healthcare providers. The majority of them received these data from official broadcasting channels and social media. However, despite several concerns, the willingness of COVD-19 vaccination in the Iranian MS patients is remarkable. Full article
Case Report
Polyneuritis Cranialis Associated with BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in a Healthy Adolescent
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010134 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 853
Abstract
A 16-year-old Thai girl developed right facial palsy, a lower motor neuron lesion, and numbness 3 h after receiving the first dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Neurological examination showed the involvement of the right cranial nerves (CN) V, VII, IX, and X. [...] Read more.
A 16-year-old Thai girl developed right facial palsy, a lower motor neuron lesion, and numbness 3 h after receiving the first dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Neurological examination showed the involvement of the right cranial nerves (CN) V, VII, IX, and X. Electrophysiological tests revealed the absence of an F wave response, suggesting a proximal demyelinating process. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain demonstrated abnormal enhancement of the right CN VII. The cerebrospinal fluid profile on day 7 after the onset of symptoms was normal. The patient was diagnosed with polyneuritis cranialis, a rare variant of Guillain-Barre syndrome. She was successfully treated with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergic Reactions to Current Available COVID-19 Vaccines)
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Review
The Potential of Exosomes in Allergy Immunotherapy
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010133 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Allergic diseases represent a global health and economic burden of increasing significance. The lack of disease-modifying therapies besides specific allergen immunotherapy (AIT) which is not available for all types of allergies, necessitates the study of novel therapeutic approaches. Exosomes are small endosome-derived vesicles [...] Read more.
Allergic diseases represent a global health and economic burden of increasing significance. The lack of disease-modifying therapies besides specific allergen immunotherapy (AIT) which is not available for all types of allergies, necessitates the study of novel therapeutic approaches. Exosomes are small endosome-derived vesicles delivering cargo between cells and thus allowing inter-cellular communication. Since immune cells make use of exosomes to boost, deviate, or suppress immune responses, exosomes are intriguing candidates for immunotherapy. Here, we review the role of exosomes in allergic sensitization and inflammation, and we discuss the mechanisms by which exosomes could potentially be used in immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of allergic diseases. We propose the following approaches: (a) Mast cell-derived exosomes expressing IgE receptor FcεRI could absorb IgE and down-regulate systemic IgE levels. (b) Tolerogenic exosomes could suppress allergic immune responses via induction of regulatory T cells. (c) Exosomes could promote TH1-like responses towards an allergen. (d) Exosomes could modulate IgE-facilitated antigen presentation. Full article
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Article
Antibody Levels at 3-Years Follow-Up of a Third Dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine in Young Adults
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010132 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Mumps outbreaks and breakthrough infections of measles and rubella have raised concerns about waning of vaccine-induced immunity after two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. In the present follow-up study, serum IgG antibodies against mumps, measles and rubella, as well as the functional neutralizing [...] Read more.
Mumps outbreaks and breakthrough infections of measles and rubella have raised concerns about waning of vaccine-induced immunity after two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. In the present follow-up study, serum IgG antibodies against mumps, measles and rubella, as well as the functional neutralizing antibodies against both the mumps vaccine strain and mumps outbreak strains were measured longitudinally in young adults that received a third MMR (MMR3) dose. The mumps-specific IgG and virus neutralizing antibody levels at 3 years after vaccination were still elevated compared to pre-vaccination antibody levels, although the differences were smaller than at earlier timepoints. Interestingly, subjects with low antibody levels to mumps before vaccination benefited the most as they showed the strongest antibody increase after an MMR3 dose. Three years after an MMR3 dose, all subjects had antibody levels to measles and rubella above the internationally agreed antibody cutoff levels for clinical protection. Our data support the recommendation that an MMR3 dose may provide additional protection for those that have become susceptible to mumps virus infection during outbreaks. MMR3 also resulted in an increase in anti-measles and rubella antibody levels that lasted longer than might have been expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Vaccines against Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Tetanus Vaccination Status and Vaccine Hesitancy in Amateur Basketball Players (Italy, 2020)
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010131 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Basketball is among the third most popular team sport in Italy. Albeit not usually perceived as being at high risk for tetanus, the Italian legal framework (Law No. 292 of 1963; Presidential Decree 1301/1965) requires tetanus vaccination (TeV) even for amateur practice. Even [...] Read more.
Basketball is among the third most popular team sport in Italy. Albeit not usually perceived as being at high risk for tetanus, the Italian legal framework (Law No. 292 of 1963; Presidential Decree 1301/1965) requires tetanus vaccination (TeV) even for amateur practice. Even though some previous reports have suggested a relatively low adherence towards vaccination practice among basketball player, corresponding knowledge, attitudes and practices towards TeV remain largely unknown. Our study specifically investigated such topics in a total of 270 amateur basketball players participating into an internet-based survey by completing a structured questionnaire. Of them, 73.0% had a proper vaccination status, but a third of respondents (33.3%) exhibited some degree of vaccine hesitancy. The average understanding of TeV and tetanus (79.8% with a potential range 0–100) as well as the risk perception for natural infection (63.9% ± 26.6) were quite good. Even though unmotivated fears towards TeV were more scarcely reported (14.0% ± 15.4), they still represented the main reasons for having missed vaccination shots (63.0%). Knowledge status and risk perception for natural infection and TeV were well correlated (R = 0.22 and R = −0.64, respectively). Appropriate TeV status was more likely in respondents not exhibiting vaccine hesitancy (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.114, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 0.059–0.225). In turn, vaccine hesitancy was more frequently reported among individuals of male gender (OR 3.148, 95%CI 1.072–9.244), while better formal education (OR 0.065, 95%CI 0.013–0.319) and working in healthcare settings (OR 0.042, 95%CI 0.007–0.265) were characterized as negative effectors. Vaccinations in athletes represent an often overlooked issue, with a considerable lack of available evidence. The results stress the opportunity for appropriate TeV screening programs among amateur athletes and the potential relevance of interventions aimed at raising the perceived significance of TeV in order to cope with a significant share of vaccine-hesitant athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Beliefs on Vaccines)
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Article
Immune Enhancement by the Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel as a Promising Adjuvant for an H7N9 Vaccine against Highly Pathogenic H7N9 Virus
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010130 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Background: Short peptide hydrogel was reported as a possible adjuvant for vaccines. In order to evaluate whether the Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel can be a promising adjuvant for an H7N9 vaccine against the highly pathogenic H7N9 virus, we conducted this study. Methods: Tetra-Peptide Hydrogels (D [...] Read more.
Background: Short peptide hydrogel was reported as a possible adjuvant for vaccines. In order to evaluate whether the Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel can be a promising adjuvant for an H7N9 vaccine against the highly pathogenic H7N9 virus, we conducted this study. Methods: Tetra-Peptide Hydrogels (D and L conformations) were prepared by a self-assembly system using a Naproxen acid modified tetra peptide of GFFY (Npx-GFFY). Mice received two immunizations with the D-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel adjuvant vaccine, the L-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel adjuvant vaccine, or the split vaccine. Fourteen days following the second dose, the mice were challenged with the highly pathogenic A/Guangdong/GZ8H002/2017(H7N9) virus. The mice were observed for signs of illness, weight loss, pathological alterations of the lung tissues and immune responses in the following 2 weeks. Results: The D/L-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogels resembled long bars with hinges on each other, with a diameter of ~10 nm. The H7N9 vaccine was observed to adhere to the hydrogel. All the unvaccinated mice were dead by 8 days post infection with H7N9. The mice immunized by the split H7N9 vaccine were protected against infection with H7N9. Mice immunized by D/L-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel adjuvant vaccines experienced shorter symptomatic periods and their micro-neutralization titers were higher than in the split H7N9 vaccine at 2 weeks post infection. The hemagglutinating inhibition (HI) titer in the L-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel adjuvant vaccine group was higher than that in the split H7N9 vaccine 1 week and 2 weeks post infection. The HI titer in the D-Tetra-Peptide Hydrogel adjuvant vaccine group was higher than that in the split H7N9 vaccine at 2 weeks post infection. Conclusion: The D/L Tetra-Peptide Hydrogels increased the protection of the H7N9 vaccine and could be promising adjuvants for H7N9 vaccines against highly pathogenic H7N9 virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Century of Vaccine Adjuvants: From 1920 to 2020 and Beyond)
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Associated Factors among Diabetes Patients: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Changzhi, Shanxi, China
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010129 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 infection, but vaccine hesitancy is a problem in this population. We investigated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy among diabetes patients in China through a cross-sectional survey from April and [...] Read more.
Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 infection, but vaccine hesitancy is a problem in this population. We investigated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy among diabetes patients in China through a cross-sectional survey from April and August 2021 using a questionnaire administered to patients at two hospitals affiliated with Changzhi Medical College (Shanxi, China). The health belief model (HBM) is used examining factors influencing vaccine hesitancy. After adjusting for potential confounders, a multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze correlations between vaccine hesitancy and associated factors. Of the 483 participants, 56.4% (273/483) had vaccine hesitancy, including 58.2% (159/273) who were unsure of being vaccinated and 41.8% (114/273) who were unwilling. Although patients considered SARS-CoV-2 infection to be serious (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.90, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.36–6.42; p < 0.001), they had concerns about vaccine safety (aOR = 3.05, 95% CI: 1.89–4.91; p < 0.001). Relatives’ vaccination status did not influence participants’ willingness to be vaccinated (aOR = 2.43, 95% CI: 1.39–4.25; p < 0.001). Disagreement with physicians’ view that vaccination can reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection risk was independently correlated with vaccine hesitancy (aOR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.28–3.95; p < 0.001). Diabetes patients in China need to be educated on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine safety and protective effects to increase the vaccination rate in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination and Globe Public Health)
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Article
Preclinical Evaluation of Chicken Egg Yolk Antibody (IgY) Anti-RBD Spike SARS-CoV-2—A Candidate for Passive Immunization against COVID-19
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010128 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 768
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a substantial threat to the international health sector and the global economy. As of 26 December 2021, the number of mortalities resulting from COVID-19 exceeded 5.3 million worldwide. The absence of an effective non-vaccine treatment has [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a substantial threat to the international health sector and the global economy. As of 26 December 2021, the number of mortalities resulting from COVID-19 exceeded 5.3 million worldwide. The absence of an effective non-vaccine treatment has prompted the quest for prophylactic agents that can be used to combat COVID-19. This study presents the feasibility of chicken egg yolk antibody (IgY) anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) spike SARS-CoV-2 as a strong candidate to neutralize the virus for application in passive immunization. For the purpose of preclinical studies, we radiolabeled IgY anti-RBD spike SARS-CoV-2 with radionuclide iodine-131. This allowed us to evaluate several biological characteristics of IgY in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo. The preclinical data suggest that IgY anti-RBD spike SARS-CoV-2 could specifically bind to the SARS-CoV-2 antigens; however, little uptake was observed in normal cells (MRC-5) (<2%). Furthermore, the ex vivo biodistribution study revealed that IgY predominantly accumulated in the trachea of normal mice compared to other organs. We also found that IgY possessed a good safety profile when used as an intranasal agent. Taken together, we propose that IgY anti-RBD spike SARS-CoV-2 has the potential for application in passive immunization against COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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Case Report
Post-HPV-Vaccination Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Possible Vaccine-Triggered Escalation of Undiagnosed Pre-Existing Mast Cell Disease?
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010127 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1665
Abstract
For nearly a decade, case reports and series have emerged regarding dysautonomias—particularly postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)—presenting soon after vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV). We too have observed a number of such cases (all following vaccination with the Gardasil product), and have [...] Read more.
For nearly a decade, case reports and series have emerged regarding dysautonomias—particularly postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)—presenting soon after vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV). We too have observed a number of such cases (all following vaccination with the Gardasil product), and have found several to have detectable mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) as well as histories suggesting that MCAS was likely present long before vaccination. We detail 11 such cases here, posing a hypothesis that HPV vaccination (at least with the Gardasil product) may have triggered or exacerbated MCAS in teenagers previously not recognized to have it. Only recently recognized, MCAS is being increasingly appreciated as a prevalent and chronic multisystem disorder, often emerging early in life and presenting with inflammatory ± allergic phenomena following from known mast cell (MC) mediator effects. There is rising recognition, too, of associations of MCAS with central and peripheral neuropathic disorders, including autonomic disorders such as POTS. Given the recognized potential for many antigens to trigger a major and permanent escalation of baseline MC misbehavior in a given MCAS patient, we hypothesize that in our patients described herein, vaccination with Gardasil may have caused pre-existing (but not yet clinically recognized) MCAS to worsen to a clinically significantly degree, with the emergence of POTS and other issues. The recognition and management of MCAS prior to vaccinations in general may be a strategy worth investigating for reducing adverse events following HPV vaccinations and perhaps even other types of vaccinations. Full article
Case Report
Atypical Kawasaki Disease after COVID-19 Vaccination: A New Form of Adverse Event Following Immunization
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010126 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1670
Abstract
Kawasaki disease (KD) is a medium-vessel vasculitis that is typically presented during childhood; fewer than 100 cases of KD have been reported worldwide in adult patients who met the criteria according to the American College of Rheumatology. This study presents the case of [...] Read more.
Kawasaki disease (KD) is a medium-vessel vasculitis that is typically presented during childhood; fewer than 100 cases of KD have been reported worldwide in adult patients who met the criteria according to the American College of Rheumatology. This study presents the case of an 18-year-old patient with no previous history of any disease, who presented atypical KD with liver and kidney dysfunction, with a good response to intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. The symptoms began 22 days after the application of the COVID-19 vaccine (nonreplicating viral vector Vaxzevria), and other conditions were ruled out. The term Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI)encompasses all the reactions that follow the application of any vaccine with no necessary causal relationship and can be due to the vaccine product, quality of the vaccine, immunization errors, or anxiety or just happen to be coincident events. These reactions should be reported so that clinicians can identify compatible cases and consider that the presentation of this disease, despite being atypical, can be manifested in adult patients. Likewise, case reports are an important basis for the pharmacovigilance of vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergic Reactions to Current Available COVID-19 Vaccines)
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Article
IgG and IgA Antibodies Post SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine in the Breast Milk and Sera of Breastfeeding Women
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010125 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has carried massive global health and economic burden that is currently counteracted by a challenging anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Indeed, mass vaccination against COVID-19 is expected to be the most efficacious intervention to mitigate the pandemic successfully. The primary objective of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has carried massive global health and economic burden that is currently counteracted by a challenging anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Indeed, mass vaccination against COVID-19 is expected to be the most efficacious intervention to mitigate the pandemic successfully. The primary objective of the present study is to test the presence of neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (IgA and IgG) in the breast milk and sera samples from vaccinated women at least 20 days after the complete vaccine cycle. A secondary aim is to compare the IgG antibodies level in maternal serum and breast milk. The third target is to evaluate the presence of the IgG antibodies in breast milk after several weeks from the vaccination. Finally, we collected information on the health status of infants in the days following maternal vaccination. Forty-two mothers were enrolled in the study. Thirty-six received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, four the Astra Zeneca vaccine, one the Moderna vaccine and another woman Astra Zeneca in the first dose and Pfizer/BioNTech in the second dose. All 42 milk samples confirmed the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, and none showed IgA presence. Regarding the matched 42 sera samples, 41 samples detected IgG presence, with one sample testing negative and only one positive for seric IgA. None of the 42 infants had fever or changes in sleep or appetite in the seven days following the maternal vaccination. The level of IgG antibodies in milk was, on average, lower than that in maternal serum. According to our analysis, the absence of IgA could suggest a rapid decrease after vaccination even if frequent breastfeeding could favour its persistence. IgG were present in breast milk even 4 months after the second vaccine dose. Information on the immunological characteristics of breast milk could change mothers’ choices regarding breastfeeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Global Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Serology)
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Article
Immunoprofiling Identifies Functional B and T Cell Subsets Induced by an Attenuated Whole Parasite Malaria Vaccine as Correlates of Sterile Immunity
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010124 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
Immune correlates of protection remain elusive for most vaccines. An identified immune correlate would accelerate the down-selection of vaccine formulations by reducing the need for human pathogen challenge studies that are currently required to determine vaccine efficacy. Immunization via mosquito-delivered, radiation-attenuated P. falciparum [...] Read more.
Immune correlates of protection remain elusive for most vaccines. An identified immune correlate would accelerate the down-selection of vaccine formulations by reducing the need for human pathogen challenge studies that are currently required to determine vaccine efficacy. Immunization via mosquito-delivered, radiation-attenuated P. falciparum sporozoites (IMRAS) is a well-established model for efficacious malaria vaccines, inducing greater than 90% sterile immunity. The current immunoprofiling study utilized samples from a clinical trial in which vaccine dosing was adjusted to achieve only 50% protection, thus enabling a comparison between protective and non-protective immune signatures. In-depth immunoprofiling was conducted by assessing a wide range of antigen-specific serological and cellular parameters and applying our newly developed computational tools, including machine learning. The computational component of the study pinpointed previously un-identified cellular T cell subsets (namely, TNFα-secreting CD8+CXCR3CCR6 T cells, IFNγ-secreting CD8+CCR6+ T cells and TNFα/FNγ-secreting CD4+CXCR3CCR6 T cells) and B cell subsets (i.e., CD19+CD24hiCD38hiCD69+ transitional B cells) as important factors predictive of protection (92% accuracy). Our study emphasizes the need for in-depth immunoprofiling and subsequent data integration with computational tools to identify immune correlates of protection. The described process of computational data analysis is applicable to other disease and vaccine models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasite Vaccines)
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Review
Harnessing Mycobacterium bovis BCG Trained Immunity to Control Human and Bovine Babesiosis
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010123 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Babesiosis is a disease caused by tickborne hemoprotozoan apicomplexan parasites of the genus Babesia that negatively impacts public health and food security worldwide. Development of effective and sustainable vaccines against babesiosis is currently hindered in part by the absence of definitive host correlates [...] Read more.
Babesiosis is a disease caused by tickborne hemoprotozoan apicomplexan parasites of the genus Babesia that negatively impacts public health and food security worldwide. Development of effective and sustainable vaccines against babesiosis is currently hindered in part by the absence of definitive host correlates of protection. Despite that, studies in Babesia microti and Babesia bovis, major causative agents of human and bovine babesiosis, respectively, suggest that early activation of innate immune responses is crucial for vertebrates to survive acute infection. Trained immunity (TI) is defined as the development of memory in vertebrate innate immune cells, allowing more efficient responses to subsequent specific and non-specific challenges. Considering that Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a widely used anti-tuberculosis attenuated vaccine, induces strong TI pro-inflammatory responses, we hypothesize that BCG TI may protect vertebrates against acute babesiosis. This premise is supported by early investigations demonstrating that BCG inoculation protects mice against experimental B. microti infection and recent observations that BCG vaccination decreases the severity of malaria in children infected with Plasmodium falciparum, a Babesia-related parasite. We also discuss the potential use of TI in conjunction with recombinant BCG vaccines expressing Babesia immunogens. In conclusion, by concentrating on human and bovine babesiosis, herein we intend to raise awareness of BCG TI as a strategy to efficiently control Babesia infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Cross-Protective Vaccines)
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Article
Cyberchondria, Fear of COVID-19, and Risk Perception Mediate the Association between Problematic Social Media Use and Intention to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010122 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Vaccination is the most effective way to control the COVID-19 pandemic, but vaccination hesitancy threatens this effort worldwide. Consequently, there is a need to understand what influences individuals’ intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Restriction of information gathering on societal developments to social [...] Read more.
Vaccination is the most effective way to control the COVID-19 pandemic, but vaccination hesitancy threatens this effort worldwide. Consequently, there is a need to understand what influences individuals’ intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Restriction of information gathering on societal developments to social media may influence attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination through exposure to disinformation and imbalanced arguments. The present study examined the association between problematic social media use and intention to get the COVID-19 vaccine, taking into account the mediating roles of cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception. In a cross-sectional survey study, a total of 10,843 residents of Qazvin City, Iran completed measures on problematic social media use, fear of COVID-19, cyberchondria, COVID-19 risk perception, and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results showed that there was no direct association between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Nonetheless, cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception (each or serially) mediated associations between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. These results add to the understanding of the role of problematic social media use in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, i.e., it is not the quantity of social media use per se that matters. This knowledge of the mediating roles of cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception can be used by public health experts and policymakers when planning educational interventions and other initiatives in COVID-19 vaccination programs. Full article
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Communication
Emerging Socioeconomic Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccine Second-Dose Completion Rates in the United States
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010121 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
Although COVID-19 vaccination plans acknowledge a need for equity, disparities in two-dose vaccine initiation have been observed in the United States. We aim to assess if disparity patterns are emerging in COVID-19 vaccination completion. We gathered (n = 843,985) responses between February [...] Read more.
Although COVID-19 vaccination plans acknowledge a need for equity, disparities in two-dose vaccine initiation have been observed in the United States. We aim to assess if disparity patterns are emerging in COVID-19 vaccination completion. We gathered (n = 843,985) responses between February and November 2021 from a web survey. Individuals self-reported demographics and COVID-19 vaccination status. Dose initiation and completion rates were calculated incorporating survey weights. A multi-variate logistic regression assessed the association between income and completing vaccination, accounting for other demographics. Overall, 57.4% initiated COVID-19 vaccination, with 84.5% completing vaccination. Initiation varied by income, and we observed disparities in completion by occupation, race, age, and insurance. Accounting for demographics, higher incomes are more likely to complete vaccination than lower incomes. We observe disparities in completion across annual income. Differences in COVID-19 vaccination completion may lead to two tiers of protection in the population, with certain sub-groups being better protected from future infection. Full article
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Article
Childhood Immunisation Coverage during the COVID-19 Epidemic in Italy
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010120 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 984
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected national healthcare systems worldwide, with around 282 million cumulative confirmed cases reported in over 220 countries and territories as of the end of 2021. The Italian National Health System was heavily affected, with detrimental impacts on preventive service [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected national healthcare systems worldwide, with around 282 million cumulative confirmed cases reported in over 220 countries and territories as of the end of 2021. The Italian National Health System was heavily affected, with detrimental impacts on preventive service delivery. Routine vaccination services were disrupted across the country during the first months of the pandemic, and both access to and demand for vaccines have decreased during the pandemic. In many cases, parents preferred to postpone scheduled appointments for routine paediatric vaccinations because of stay-at-home orders or fear of COVID-19 infection when accessing care. The objective of the current study was to assess the routine childhood vaccine coverage (VC) rates during the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy. We compared 2020 and 2019 VC by age group and vaccine type. The Italian Ministry of Health collected anonymised and aggregated immunisation national data through the local health authorities (LHAs). Results were considered statistically significant at a two-tailed p-value ≤ 0.05. VC rates for mandatory vaccinations decreased in 2020 compared to 2019 (range of VC rate decrease: −1% to −2.7%), while chicken pox increased (+2.2%) in 7-year-old children. Recommended vaccinations were moderately affected (range of VC rate decrease in 2020 vs. 2019: −1.4% to −8.5%), with the exception of anti-HPV in males, Men ACWY, and anti-rotavirus vaccination (VC increase 2020 vs. 2019: +1.8%, +4.7% and +9.4%, respectively). In the COVID-19 era, the implementation of coherent, transparent, and effective communication campaigns and educational programs on safe childhood vaccinations, together with the increase in the number of healthcare staff employed, is essential to support strategies to reinforce vaccination confidence and behaviour, thus avoiding health threats due to VPD during and beyond COVID-19 times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: The Way Back to Normal Life Is Now Marked)
Article
Using Google Trends to Predict COVID-19 Vaccinations and Monitor Search Behaviours about Vaccines: A Retrospective Analysis of Italian Data
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010119 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 496
Abstract
Google Trends data are an efficient source for analysing internet search behaviour and providing valuable insights into community dynamics and health-related problems. In this article, we aimed to evaluate if Google Trends data could help monitor the COVID-19 vaccination trend over time and [...] Read more.
Google Trends data are an efficient source for analysing internet search behaviour and providing valuable insights into community dynamics and health-related problems. In this article, we aimed to evaluate if Google Trends data could help monitor the COVID-19 vaccination trend over time and if the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines modified the interest of pregnant women in vaccination. Data related to Google internet searches and the number of vaccine doses administered in Italy were used. We found moderate to strong correlations between search volumes of vaccine-related terms and the number of vaccines administered. In particular, a model based on Google Trends with a 3-week lag showed the best performance in fitting the number of COVID-19 vaccinations over time. We also observed that the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines affected the search interest for the argument “vaccination in pregnancy” both quantitatively and qualitatively. There was a significant increase in the search interest after the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Italy. Qualitative analysis suggested that this increase was probably due to concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, our study suggests the benefits of using Google Trends data to predict the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, and to monitor feelings about vaccination. Full article
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Article
Immunogenicity of a Two-Dose Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Schedule in HIV-Infected Adolescents with Immune Reconstitution
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010118 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 516
Abstract
HIV-infected patients are at increased risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) acquisition and HPV-associated diseases. This study set out to determine whether a two-dose (2D) HPV vaccination schedule was sufficient in HIV-infected adolescents with immune reconstitution (IR) following antiretroviral treatment. Participants aged 9–15 years [...] Read more.
HIV-infected patients are at increased risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) acquisition and HPV-associated diseases. This study set out to determine whether a two-dose (2D) HPV vaccination schedule was sufficient in HIV-infected adolescents with immune reconstitution (IR) following antiretroviral treatment. Participants aged 9–15 years who had CD4 cell counts > 500 cells/mm3 and HIV-1 RNA < 40 copies/mL for at least one year were assigned to the 2D schedule, while older participants or those without IR received a three-dose (3D) schedule. Antibodies to HPV-16 and -18 were measured using a pseudovirion-based neutralization assay. A total of 96 subjects were enrolled; 31.3% and 68.7% received the 2D and 3D schedule, respectively. Of these, 66.7% and 57.6% of the 2D and 3D participants, respectively, were male. The seroconversion rates for HPV-16 and HPV-18 were 100% in all cases, except for HPV-18 in males who received the 3D schedule (97.4%). In males, the anti-HPV-16 geometric mean titers (GMTs) were 6859.3 (95% confidence interval, 4394.3–10,707.1) and 7011.1 (4648.8–10,573.9) in the 2D and 3D groups (p = 0.946), respectively, and the anti-HPV-18 GMTs were 2039.3 (1432.2–2903.8) and 2859.8 (1810.0–4518.4) in the 2D and 3D (p = 0.313) groups, respectively. In females, the anti-HPV-16 GMTs were 15,758.7 (8868.0–28,003.4) and 26,241.6 (16,972.7–40,572.3) in the 2D and 3D groups (p = 0.197), respectively, and the anti-HPV-18 GMTs were 5971.4 (3026.8–11,780.6) and 9993.1 (5950.8–16,781.1) in the 2D and 3D groups (p = 0.271), respectively. In summary, a 2D schedule is as immunogenic in young adolescents with IR as a 3D schedule in older subjects and those without IR. Full article
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Case Report
Benign Fasciculation Syndrome and Migraine Aura without Headache: Possible Rare Side Effects of the BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine? A Case Report and a Potential Hypothesis
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010117 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2180
Abstract
The BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech) mRNA vaccine is an effective vaccine against COVID-19 infection. Here, we report an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) in a 48-year-old female patient who presented with fasciculations, migraine auras without headaches and in an increased discomfort of previously present [...] Read more.
The BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech) mRNA vaccine is an effective vaccine against COVID-19 infection. Here, we report an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) in a 48-year-old female patient who presented with fasciculations, migraine auras without headaches and in an increased discomfort of previously present palpitations, as well as excitation and insomnia. Her fasciculations were intermittently present until the time this paper was written, starting from the 6th day post-vaccination; they changed localization and frequency, but most commonly they were generalized, affecting almost all muscle groups. The patient also suffered from two incidents of migraine auras with visual kaleidoscope-like phenomena without headaches a few months after the vaccination. These symptoms were considered to be AEFI and no causal relation with the vaccine could be proven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Immunology)
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Article
Vaccination Schedule under Conditions of Limited Vaccine Production Rate
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010116 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 476
Abstract
The paper is devoted to optimal vaccination scheduling during a pandemic to minimize the probability of infection. The recent COVID-19 pandemic showed that the international community is not properly prepared to manage a crisis of this scale. Just after the vaccines had been [...] Read more.
The paper is devoted to optimal vaccination scheduling during a pandemic to minimize the probability of infection. The recent COVID-19 pandemic showed that the international community is not properly prepared to manage a crisis of this scale. Just after the vaccines had been approved by medical agencies, the policymakers needed to decide on the distribution strategy. To successfully fight the pandemic, the key is to find the equilibrium between the vaccine distribution schedule and the available supplies caused by limited production capacity. This is why society needs to be divided into stratified groups whose access to vaccines is prioritized. Herein, we present the problem of distributing protective actions (i.e., vaccines) and formulate two mixed-integer programs to solve it. The problem of distributing protective actions (PDPA) aims at finding an optimal schedule for a given set of social groups with a constant probability of infection. The problem of distributing protective actions with a herd immunity threshold (PDPAHIT) also includes a variable probability of infection, i.e., the situation when herd immunity is obtained. The results of computational experiments are reported and the potential of the models is illustrated with examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Strategies for COVID-19)
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Article
Comparison of Dental Anxiety While Visiting Dental Clinics before and after Getting Vaccinated in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010115 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Vaccination is critical to control the rate of coronavirus transmission and infectivity. Dental practices are a high-risk area for contracting coronavirus; this fact generates psychological disturbances amongst patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the levels of anxiety of patients while visiting [...] Read more.
Vaccination is critical to control the rate of coronavirus transmission and infectivity. Dental practices are a high-risk area for contracting coronavirus; this fact generates psychological disturbances amongst patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the levels of anxiety of patients while visiting dental practices before and after getting vaccinated. This cross-sectional study was carried out between March and December 2021. An electronic survey was distributed among the vaccinated individuals who visited dental clinics before and after getting vaccinated. The survey consisted of the following four parts: demographic characteristics, questions related to coronavirus, and anxiety scores before and after getting vaccinated. SPSS-25 was used to perform the statistical analysis, where paired t-test was used to compare the anxiety scores, and Mann–Whitney U test to assess the association of gender with anxiety scores. A p-value of ≤0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. A total of 400 vaccinated individuals participated in this study, with a response rate of 88.23%. The majority of the respondents (71.0%) did not test positive for coronavirus. More than half of the participants (54.0%) reported to not be suffering from any coronavirus-related symptoms. About 100 (25.0%) of the individuals stated that dental clinics are an environment in which there is a high risk of contracting coronavirus. In regards to the comparison of the mean MDAS scores of the participants before and after getting vaccinated, a significant difference (p = 0.001) was found. Vaccination has been recommended for all eligible individuals to control the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus. Vaccinations have decreased the dental anxiety of patients while visiting dental clinics. However, the protective measures are still valid and should be followed, regardless of the vaccination status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Case Report
Persistent T-Cell Reactivity in a Seronegative Patient after SARS-CoV-2 Infection and One Vaccination
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010114 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 743
Abstract
We present here a 64-year-old male participant of the CoNAN study who experienced a PCR-confirmed mild SARS-CoV-2 infection but did not develop any measurable antibody response. Additionally, after vaccination with ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) 11 months later, no antibodies were detected in six [...] Read more.
We present here a 64-year-old male participant of the CoNAN study who experienced a PCR-confirmed mild SARS-CoV-2 infection but did not develop any measurable antibody response. Additionally, after vaccination with ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) 11 months later, no antibodies were detected in six serological tests three weeks after the vaccination. When we assessed T-helper (Th) cell immunity, SARS-CoV-2-specific Th cells produced detectable amounts of IFNγ and TNF six weeks after the infection. A robust T-cell immunity remained detectable at least until six months after the infection and was boosted by the vaccination thereafter. This case report points out that an assessment of a prior infection or a vaccine response based solely on antibody detection might have limitations in individual patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Global Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Serology)
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Article
Dissecting the Mycobacterium bovis BCG Response to Macrophage Infection to Help Prioritize Targets for Anti-Tuberculosis Drug and Vaccine Discovery
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010113 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
New strategies are required to reduce the worldwide burden of tuberculosis. Intracellular survival and replication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis after macrophage phagocytosis is a fundamental step in the complex host–pathogen interactions that lead to granuloma formation and disease. Greater understanding of how the bacterium [...] Read more.
New strategies are required to reduce the worldwide burden of tuberculosis. Intracellular survival and replication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis after macrophage phagocytosis is a fundamental step in the complex host–pathogen interactions that lead to granuloma formation and disease. Greater understanding of how the bacterium survives and thrives in these environments will inform novel drug and vaccine discovery programs. Here, we use in-depth RNA sequencing of Mycobacterium bovis BCG from human THP-1 macrophages to describe the mycobacterial adaptations to the intracellular environment. We identify 329 significantly differentially regulated genes, highlighting cholesterol catabolism, the methylcitrate cycle and iron homeostasis as important for mycobacteria inside macrophages. Examination of multi-functional gene families revealed that 35 PE/PPE genes and five cytochrome P450 genes were upregulated 24 h after infection, highlighting pathways of potential significance. Comparison of the intracellular transcriptome to gene essentiality and immunogenicity studies identified 15 potential targets that are both required for intracellular survival and induced on infection, and eight upregulated genes that have been demonstrated to be immunogenic in TB patients. Further insight into these new and established targets will support drug and vaccine development efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Antigen Identification and Vaccine Delivery Systems)
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Review
Subtype H3N2 Influenza A Viruses: An Unmet Challenge in the Western Pacific
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010112 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 471
Abstract
Subtype H3N2 influenza A viruses (A(H3N2)) have been the dominant strain in some countries in the Western Pacific region since the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza; however, low vaccine effectiveness has been reported in some [...] Read more.
Subtype H3N2 influenza A viruses (A(H3N2)) have been the dominant strain in some countries in the Western Pacific region since the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza; however, low vaccine effectiveness has been reported in some influenza seasons, especially for A(H3N2). Antigenic mismatch introduced by egg-adaptation during vaccine production between the vaccine and circulating viral stains is one of the reasons for low vaccine effectiveness. Here we review the extent of this phenomenon, the underlying molecular mechanisms and discuss recent strategies to ameliorate this, including new vaccine platforms that may provide better protection and should be considered to reduce the impact of A(H3N2) in the Western Pacific region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers Collection on Influenza Vaccines)
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Article
Immunogenicity and Protective Capacity of a Virus-like Particle Vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis Type 3 Secretion System Tip Protein, CT584
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010111 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 690
Abstract
An effective vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis is urgently needed as infection rates continue to rise and C. trachomatis causes reproductive morbidity. An obligate intracellular pathogen, C. trachomatis employs a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) for host cell entry. The tip of the injectosome [...] Read more.
An effective vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis is urgently needed as infection rates continue to rise and C. trachomatis causes reproductive morbidity. An obligate intracellular pathogen, C. trachomatis employs a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) for host cell entry. The tip of the injectosome is composed of the protein CT584, which represents a potential target for neutralization with vaccine-induced antibody. Here, we investigate the immunogenicity and efficacy of a vaccine made of CT584 epitopes coupled to a bacteriophage virus-like particle (VLP), a novel platform for Chlamydia vaccines modeled on the success of HPV vaccines. Female mice were immunized intramuscularly, challenged transcervically with C. trachomatis, and assessed for systemic and local antibody responses and bacterial burden in the upper genital tract. Immunization resulted in a 3-log increase in epitope-specific IgG in serum and uterine homogenates and in the detection of epitope-specific IgG in uterine lavage at low levels. By contrast, sera from women infected with C. trachomatis and virgin controls had similarly low titers to CT584 epitopes, suggesting these epitopes are not systemically immunogenic during natural infection but can be rendered immunogenic by the VLP platform. C. trachomatis burden in the upper genital tract of mice varied after active immunization, yet passive protection was achieved when immune sera were pre-incubated with C. trachomatis prior to inoculation into the genital tract. These data demonstrate the potential for antibody against the T3SS to contribute to protection against C. trachomatis and the value of VLPs as a novel platform for C. trachomatis vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Vaccines Based on Virus-Like Particles)
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Review
Global COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance: A Systematic Review of Associated Social and Behavioral Factors
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010110 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1205
Abstract
COVID-19 vaccines have met varying levels of acceptance and hesitancy in different parts of the world, which has implications for eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this systematic review is to examine how and why the rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and [...] Read more.
COVID-19 vaccines have met varying levels of acceptance and hesitancy in different parts of the world, which has implications for eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this systematic review is to examine how and why the rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy differ across countries and continents. PubMed, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore and Science Direct were searched between 1 January 2020 and 31 July 2021 using keywords such as “COVID-19 vaccine acceptance”. 81 peer-reviewed publications were found to be eligible for review. The analysis shows that there are global variations in vaccine acceptance among different populations. The vaccine-acceptance rates were the highest amongst adults in Ecuador (97%), Malaysia (94.3%) and Indonesia (93.3%) and the lowest amongst adults in Lebanon (21.0%). The general healthcare workers (HCWs) in China (86.20%) and nurses in Italy (91.50%) had the highest acceptance rates, whereas HCWs in the Democratic Republic of Congo had the lowest acceptance (27.70%). A nonparametric one-way ANOVA showed that the differences in vaccine-acceptance rates were statistically significant (H (49) = 75.302, p = 0.009*) between the analyzed countries. However, the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy and acceptance were similar across the board. Low vaccine acceptance was associated with low levels of education and awareness, and inefficient government efforts and initiatives. Furthermore, poor influenza-vaccination history, as well as conspiracy theories relating to infertility and misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on social media also resulted in vaccine hesitancy. Strategies to address these concerns may increase global COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and accelerate our efforts to eliminate this pandemic. Full article
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Article
Side Effects and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines among the Egyptian Population
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010109 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
Background: Knowledge about a vaccine’s side effects and efficacy is important to improving public vaccine acceptance. This study aimed to detect the safety and efficacy of vaccines among the Egyptian population. Methodology and Results: Data was collected using an online survey from participants [...] Read more.
Background: Knowledge about a vaccine’s side effects and efficacy is important to improving public vaccine acceptance. This study aimed to detect the safety and efficacy of vaccines among the Egyptian population. Methodology and Results: Data was collected using an online survey from participants who took two doses of the BBIBP-CorV, ChAdOx1, or BNT162 vaccines. Pain at the vaccine injection site, muscle pain, fatigue, dizziness, fever, and headache were the most common side effects after the first and second doses. The number pf side effects was higher in ChAdOx1 than in BNT162 and BBIBP-CorV. Most of the side effects started on the first day after vaccination and persisted for 1–2 days. Vaccinated people with past coronavirus infections before vaccination developed better antibodies than those who were only vaccinated. The side-effect severity was greater after the first dose of BBIBP-CorV and ChAdOx1 than after the second dose, but in contrast, the side-effect severity was greater after the second dose of BNT162 vaccine than after the first dose. ChAdOx1 was more effective than BBIBP-CorV, and one dose of ChAdOx1 produced an immune response similar to that of two doses of BBIBP-CorV. Conclusions: Coronavirus vaccines were well-tolerated, safe, and produced an immune response against the virus in most cases. Most postvaccine side effects were mild to moderate, which indicated the building of immunity by the body for protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The COVID Vaccine)
Article
Development and Properties of Francisella tularensis Subsp. holarctica 15 NIIEG Vaccine Strain without the recD Gene
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010108 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 321
Abstract
The genomic analysis of all subspecies F. tularensis, as found in Gen Bank NCBI, reveals the presence of genes encoding proteins like to the multifunctional RecBCD enzyme complex in E. coli and other bacteria. To date, the role of the recD gene [...] Read more.
The genomic analysis of all subspecies F. tularensis, as found in Gen Bank NCBI, reveals the presence of genes encoding proteins like to the multifunctional RecBCD enzyme complex in E. coli and other bacteria. To date, the role of the recD gene in F. tularensis, which encodes the alpha chain of exonuclease V, in DNA metabolism processes, has not been studied either in vitro or in vivo. F. tularensis subsp. holarctica 15 NIIEG, a vaccine strain, served as the basis to create the F. tularensis 15D strain with recD deletion. The lack of the recD gene suppresses the integration of suicide plasmids with F. tularensis genome fragments into the chromosome. The modified strain showed reduced growth in vitro and in vivo. This study shows that such deletion significantly reduces the virulence of the strain in BALB/c mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Vaccines against Infectious Diseases)
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Article
The Effectiveness of a Diverse COVID-19 Vaccine Portfolio and Its Impact on the Persistence of Positivity and Length of Hospital Stays: The Veneto Region’s Experience
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010107 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 871
Abstract
The vaccination campaign for the Veneto region (northeastern Italy) started on 27 December 2020. As of early December 2021, 75.1% of the whole Veneto population has been fully vaccinated. Vaccine efficacy has been demonstrated in many clinical trials, but reports on real-world contexts [...] Read more.
The vaccination campaign for the Veneto region (northeastern Italy) started on 27 December 2020. As of early December 2021, 75.1% of the whole Veneto population has been fully vaccinated. Vaccine efficacy has been demonstrated in many clinical trials, but reports on real-world contexts are still necessary. We conducted a retrospective cohort study on 2,233,399 residents in the Veneto region to assess the reduction in the COVID-19 burden, taking different outcomes into consideration. First, we adopted a non-brand-specific approach borrowed from survival analysis to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in preventing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. We used t-tests and multivariate regressions to examine vaccine impact on breakthrough infections, in terms of the persistence of positivity and the length of hospital stays. Evidence emerging from this study suggests that unvaccinated individuals are significantly more likely to become infected, need hospitalization, and are at a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than those given at least one dose of vaccine. Cox models indicate that the effectiveness of full vaccination is 88% against infection, 94% against hospitalization, and 95% against death. Multivariate regressions suggest that vaccination is significantly correlated with a shorter period of positivity and shorter hospital stays, with each step toward completion of the vaccination cycle coinciding with a reduction of 3.3 days in the persistence of positivity and 2.3 days in the length of hospital stay. Full article
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Article
Vaccination against COVID-19: Factors That Influence Vaccine Hesitancy among an Ethnically Diverse Community in the UK
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010106 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
The UK’s minority ethnic population, despite being at higher risk of COVID-19 and experiencing poorer health outcomes, continue to have lower uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine compared with their white British counterparts. Given the importance of the vaccination programme in improving health outcomes, [...] Read more.
The UK’s minority ethnic population, despite being at higher risk of COVID-19 and experiencing poorer health outcomes, continue to have lower uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine compared with their white British counterparts. Given the importance of the vaccination programme in improving health outcomes, this research sought to examine the influential factors that impact the decision to accept the COVID-19 vaccination among an ethnically diverse community. A total of 1058 residents from Luton, UK, a large town with an ethnically diverse population, completed a community survey. Questions centred around uptake or individuals’ intentions to accept the offer of COVID-19 vaccination alongside demographics, knowledge, and views on the vaccine. A binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the most significant predictors of vaccine hesitancy, while respondents’ reasons for not getting vaccinated were identified using qualitative content analysis. Findings revealed that age and ethnicity were the only sociodemographic factors to predict vaccine hesitancy. Knowledge of symptoms and transmission routes, alongside ensuring information about COVID-19 was objectively sourced, were all identified as protective factors against vaccine hesitancy. Qualitative analysis revealed that ‘lack of trust in government/authorities’ and ‘concern of the speed of vaccine development’ were the most common reasons for non-uptake. This research reinforces the importance of age, ethnicity, and knowledge as influential factors in predicting vaccine hesitancy. Further, this study uncovers some of the barriers of uptake that can be utilised in developing promotional campaigns to reduce vaccine hesitancy in certain sections of the diverse UK population. Full article
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