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Vaccines, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2022) – 141 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mozambique introduced monovalent rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix®) in September 2015. We evaluated the effectiveness of Rotarix® under conditions of routine use in Mozambican children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis (AGE). The adjusted VE of ≥1 dose in children aged 6–11 months was 52.0% (95% CI, −11, 79), and −24.0% (95% CI, −459, 62) among children aged 12–23 months. Estimated VE was lower in stunted than in non-stunted children (14% (95% CI, −138, 66) vs. 59% (95% CI, −125, 91)). Rotavirus vaccination appeared moderately effective against rotavirus gastroenteritis hospitalization in young Mozambican children. VE point estimates were lower in older and stunted children, although confidence intervals were wide. These findings provide additional evidence for other high-mortality countries considering rotavirus vaccine introduction. View this paper.
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Article
A Rapid and Consistent Method to Identify Four SARS-CoV-2 Variants during the First Half of 2021 by RT-PCR
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030483 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, causing health, economic, and social distress. Containment strategies rely on rapid and consistent methodology for molecular detection and characterization. Emerging variants of concern (VOCs) are currently associated with increased infectivity and immune escape (natural defence [...] Read more.
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, causing health, economic, and social distress. Containment strategies rely on rapid and consistent methodology for molecular detection and characterization. Emerging variants of concern (VOCs) are currently associated with increased infectivity and immune escape (natural defence mechanisms and vaccine). Several VOCs have been detected, including Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), Beta variant (B.1.351), Gamma variant (P.1/B.1.1.28.1) and Delta variant (B.1.617.2), first identified in the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India, respectively. Here, a rapid and low-cost technique was validated to distinguish the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants by detecting spike gene mutations using a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction methodology (RT-PCR). A total of 132 positive patients affected by coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) were analysed by employing RT-PCR to target single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to screen spike protein mutations. All data were validated by the next-generation sequencing (NGS) methodology and using sequences from a public database. Among 132 COVID-19-positive samples, we were able to discriminate all of the investigated SARS-CoV-2 variants with 100% concordance when compared with the NGS method. RT-PCR -based assays for identifying circulating VOCs of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in a rapid method used to identify specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, allowing for a better survey of the spread of the virus and its transmissibility in the pandemic phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The COVID Vaccine)
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Brief Report
Ocular Adverse Events after Inactivated COVID-19 Vaccination in Xiamen
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030482 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Aims: To report potential vaccine-induced ocular adverse events following inactivated COVID-19 vaccination (Sinopharm and Sinovac). Methods: This case series took place at a tertiary referral center in the southeast of China (Xiamen Eye Center in Fujian Province) from February 2021 to July 2021. [...] Read more.
Aims: To report potential vaccine-induced ocular adverse events following inactivated COVID-19 vaccination (Sinopharm and Sinovac). Methods: This case series took place at a tertiary referral center in the southeast of China (Xiamen Eye Center in Fujian Province) from February 2021 to July 2021. Patients who received the first dose of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine and developed vaccine-related ocular adverse events within 10 days were included. The diagnosis of vaccine-related ocular adverse events was guided by the World Health Organization causality assessment and the Naranjo criteria. Results: Ten eyes of seven patients (two male individuals) presenting with ocular complaints following COVID-19 vaccine were included in the study. The mean (SD) age was 41.4 (9.3) years (range, 30–55 years). The mean time of ocular adverse event manifestations was 4.9 days (range, 1–10 days). Three patients were diagnosed with Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada (VKH)-like uveitis, one with multifocal choroiditis, one with episcleritis, one with iritis, and one with acute idiopathic maculopathy. Two patients received the second dose of vaccine. One patient had exacerbation of VKH, and one patient had no symptoms. An aqueous humor analysis in three patients revealed elevated proinflammatory cytokines and negative virus copy. All the patients had transient ocular disturbance and responded well to steroids. No recurrence was noted during 6 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Potential ocular adverse events should be reported to increase the awareness of the health community for timely detection and proper treatment. Full article
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Article
Willingness to Receive COVID-19 Booster Vaccine: Associations between Green-Pass, Social Media Information, Anti-Vax Beliefs, and Emotional Balance
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030481 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
The aims of the present investigation were (i) to determine psychological relapses of COVID-19 booster vaccine; (ii) to identify the determining factors affecting willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine; and (iii) to study the relationship among emotional characteristics (anxiety, stress, depression, optimism), social media [...] Read more.
The aims of the present investigation were (i) to determine psychological relapses of COVID-19 booster vaccine; (ii) to identify the determining factors affecting willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine; and (iii) to study the relationship among emotional characteristics (anxiety, stress, depression, optimism), social media information, and the mandatory political choices (i.e., green-pass) in Croatian people. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted for 1003 participants (median age: 40 years) from Croatia during December 2021. Results showed a significant association between vaccinated and unvaccinated participants in all sociodemographic variables, except for gender (p = 0.905). For psychological variables, significant differences were found only for levels of optimism (p < 0.001). People with a postgraduate degree (OR: 2.25, [1.14–4.46], p = 0.020) and PhD (OR: 1.97, [95% CI: 1.01–3.52], p = 0.021) had higher odds of being vaccinated than participants with high school diplomas. Additionally, participants seeking information on TV and radio (OR: 2.35, [1.71–3.23], p < 0.001) or from general practitioner (OR: 2.53, [1.78–3.61], p < 0.001) had higher odds of being vaccinated. Conversely, participants seeking information on social networks (OR: 0.36, [0.27–0.49], p < 0.001), general internet/blogs forums (OR: 0.34, [0.22–0.52], p < 0.001), and from friends or acquaintances (OR: 0.66, [0.48–0.91], p = 0.011) had lower odds of being vaccinated. Additionally, results showed that information policies have failed to fully convince the population to vaccinate and that depression (p = 0.491), anxiety (p = 0.220), and stress (p = 0.521) were not determining factors leading to the decision to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the vaccinated participants perceived the green-pass as potentially useful. In contrast, most unvaccinated participants believed that the green-pass is a form of discrimination and not useful (88%). Further and broader research into possible reasons for continuing or undertaking vaccination is needed. It is recommended to introduce a measure of conformism that represents a change of attitude, belief, or behavior in a narrower sense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination and Compliance/Hesitancy)
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Article
Onset of Oral Lichenoid Lesions and Oral Lichen Planus Following COVID-19 Vaccination: A Retrospective Analysis of about 300,000 Vaccinated Patients
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030480 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Introduction: Onset of oral lichenoid lesions (OLL) or oral lichen planus (OLP) can be rare adverse reactions to vaccines. Recently, the first solitary cases were reported after COVID-19 vaccination. The aim of the present study was to assess if an increased frequency of [...] Read more.
Introduction: Onset of oral lichenoid lesions (OLL) or oral lichen planus (OLP) can be rare adverse reactions to vaccines. Recently, the first solitary cases were reported after COVID-19 vaccination. The aim of the present study was to assess if an increased frequency of OLL/OLP can be found after COVID-19 vaccination within a large real-world cohort. It was assumed that the incidence of OLL/OLP was significantly higher in subjects who received COVID-19 vaccine (cohort I) compared to individuals who were not vaccinated (cohort II). Patients and Methods: Initial cohorts of 274,481 vaccinated and 9,429,892 not vaccinated patients were retrieved from the TriNetX database (TriNetX, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), and matched for age, gender and the frequency of use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Results: After matching each cohort, we accounted for 217,863 patients. Among cohort I, 146 individuals had developed OLL/OLP within 6 days after COVID-19 vaccination (88 and 58 subjects had received mRNA- and adenovirus vector-based vaccines), whereas in cohort II, 59 patients were newly diagnosed with OLL/OLP within 6 days after having visited the clinic for any other reason. The risk of developing OLL/OLP was calculated as 0.067% vs. 0.027%, for cohorts I and II, whereby the risk difference was highly significant (p < 0.001; log-rank test). RR and OR were 2.475 (95% CI = 1.829; 3.348) and 2.476 (95% CI = 1.830; 3.350), respectively. Discussion: The hypothesis was confirmed. Accordingly, the obtained results suggest that the onset of OLL/OLP is a rare adverse drug reaction to COVID-19 vaccines, especially to mRNA vaccines. Thus far, it remains unknown if specific components of the formulations cause a type IV hypersensitive reaction corresponding to OLL, or if the immune response post vaccination triggers a T cell-driven autoimmune reaction directed against the basal layer of keratinocytes of the oral mucosa in terms of OLP. Although OLL and OLP are both classified as premalignant lesions, spontaneous remission may be expected over time, at least in the case of OLL. Therefore, the presented findings should not place any limitation toward the use of COVID-19-vaccines in broad levels of the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data Analytics in Pandemic)
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Article
Evaluating COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Strategies in a Partially Vaccinated Population: A Modeling Study
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030479 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Background: Several countries are implementing COVID-19 booster vaccination campaigns. The objective of this study was to model the impact of different primary and booster vaccination strategies. Methods: We used a compartmental model fitted to hospital admission data in France to analyze the impact [...] Read more.
Background: Several countries are implementing COVID-19 booster vaccination campaigns. The objective of this study was to model the impact of different primary and booster vaccination strategies. Methods: We used a compartmental model fitted to hospital admission data in France to analyze the impact of primary and booster vaccination strategies on morbidity and mortality, assuming waning of immunity and various levels of virus transmissibility during winter. Results: Strategies prioritizing primary vaccinations were systematically more effective than strategies prioritizing boosters. Regarding booster strategies targeting different age groups, their effectiveness varied with immunity and virus transmissibility levels. If the waning of immunity affects all adults, people aged 30 to 49 years should be boosted in priority, even for low transmissibility levels. Conclusions: Increasing the primary vaccination coverage should remain a priority. If a plateau has been reached, boosting the immunity of younger adults could be the most effective strategy, especially if SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility is high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The COVID Vaccine)
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Review
Development of Plant-Based Vaccines for Prevention of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease in Poultry
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030478 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Viral diseases, including avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND), are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in poultry, resulting in significant economic losses. Despite the availability of commercial vaccines for the major viral diseases of poultry, these diseases continue to pose [...] Read more.
Viral diseases, including avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND), are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in poultry, resulting in significant economic losses. Despite the availability of commercial vaccines for the major viral diseases of poultry, these diseases continue to pose a significant risk to global food security. There are multiple factors for this: vaccine costs may be prohibitive, cold chain storage for attenuated live-virus vaccines may not be achievable, and commercial vaccines may protect poorly against local emerging strains. The development of transient gene expression systems in plants provides a versatile and robust tool to generate a high yield of recombinant proteins with superior speed while managing to achieve cost-efficient production. Plant-derived vaccines offer good stability and safety these include both subunit and virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines. VLPs offer potential benefits compared to currently available traditional vaccines, including significant reductions in virus shedding and the ability to differentiate between infected and vaccinated birds (DIVA). This review discusses the current state of plant-based vaccines for prevention of the AI and ND in poultry, challenges in their development, and potential for expanding their use in low- and middle-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Vaccines)
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Attitudes of Family Child Care Providers in Delaware, September 2021
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030477 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Child care providers, including family child care (FCC) providers, are viewed as trusted sources of information for the parents and families they serve, and their vaccine behavior has been shown to be associated with parent beliefs and behaviors. This study sought to describe [...] Read more.
Child care providers, including family child care (FCC) providers, are viewed as trusted sources of information for the parents and families they serve, and their vaccine behavior has been shown to be associated with parent beliefs and behaviors. This study sought to describe the COVID-19 vaccine behaviors and attitudes among FCC providers in Delaware. An online survey was distributed to all licensed FCC providers (N = 541) in September 2021. Survey items were drawn from validated instruments and assessed vaccination status, attitudes, and confidence in their ability to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with families. In total, 168 responses were recorded (31% response rate); 69.8% of respondents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The majority indicated that they would require (11.4%) or recommend (42.1%) the vaccine for children in their care, once approved by the FDA. Providers reported high levels of confidence in their ability to discuss both the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccines. FCC providers should be considered key messengers for the families they serve and may be helpful liaisons with state and local vaccination efforts. Input from FCC providers could be used to develop vaccine messaging and materials that are clear, consistent, and culturally responsive to the families of the children in their care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination and Compliance/Hesitancy)
Article
Does Hospitalization Change the Perception of COVID-19 Vaccines among Unvaccinated Patients?
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030476 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
The COVID-19 vaccination has been the subject of unprecedented misinformation, false news, and public concerns. This study presents a unique analysis comprising persons who were not vaccinated and became ill. It investigates reasons for not vaccinating and evaluates how the personal experience of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 vaccination has been the subject of unprecedented misinformation, false news, and public concerns. This study presents a unique analysis comprising persons who were not vaccinated and became ill. It investigates reasons for not vaccinating and evaluates how the personal experience of COVID-19 affected further attitudes and decisions related to health. The study included 730 consecutive unvaccinated patients hospitalized in 12 centers in Poland during the autumn 2021 pandemic wave. The most frequent reason behind the refusal to receive the vaccine was concern over the adverse effects, disbelief that the vaccine was sufficiently tested, and one’s conviction that COVID-19 will not affect a patient. Online information, friends, spouse, children/grandchildren, and other family members were most often the source of discouragement from vaccination. Most individuals regretted their decision not to receive a vaccine (66.0%), declared to promote COVID-19 vaccination after discharge (64.0%), and to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the time recommended for convalescents (69.5%). Individuals expressing no regrets of vaccine refusal more frequently revealed conspiracy beliefs. The study shows that personal experience with severe COVID-19 can influence the perception of vaccination, but approximately one-third of unvaccinated hospitalized patients still appear to express vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Vaccines and Society)
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Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions and Vaccination Acceptance/Hesitancy among the Community Pharmacists of Palermo’s Province, Italy: From Influenza to COVID-19
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030475 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 666
Abstract
In Italy, following the start of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, community pharmacies (CPs) were recruited on a voluntary basis in order to administer COVID-19 vaccines as part of their activities. The aim of the present study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and [...] Read more.
In Italy, following the start of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, community pharmacies (CPs) were recruited on a voluntary basis in order to administer COVID-19 vaccines as part of their activities. The aim of the present study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention, and vaccine acceptance/hesitancy towards COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations among the community pharmacists operating in the Palermo Province. A cross-sectional study was conducted, with two different questionnaires administered before and after the conduction of the vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 at the COVID-19 vaccination center of the Palermo University Hospital (PUH). The baseline survey showed that 64% of community pharmacists (CPs) declared that they planned to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2, and 58% were vaccinated against influenza during the 2020/2021 season. Factors significantly associated with willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination were confidence in vaccines (adjOR 1.76; CI 1.11–2.80), fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2 infection (adjOR 1.50; CI 1.06–2.11), considering COVID-19 vaccination to be the best strategy to counteract SARS-CoV-2 (adjOR 1.79; CI 1.39–2.29), and adherence to influenza vaccination during the 2020/2021 season (adjOR 3.25; CI 2.23–4.25). The adherence among CPs of the Palermo Province to COVID-19 vaccination was 96.5%. From the post-vaccination survey, the main reasons for changing opinions on vaccination adherence were the introduction of mandatory vaccinations, fear of contracting COVID-19, and limitations on work activities in the case of vaccine refusal. The achievement of very high COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates among healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the present study was mainly due to the mandatory vaccination policies; nevertheless, a willingness for COVID-19 vaccination was relatively high among pharmacists before the beginning of the vaccination campaign. HCPs and CPs should receive training on vaccination, which is recommended in the national immunization plan and is also suggested by the respondents in our study, in order to routinely re-evaluate their own vaccination profiles, as well as those of their patients. Full article
Article
Factors Influencing Level and Persistence of Anti SARS-CoV-2 IgG after BNT162b2 Vaccine: Evidence from a Large Cohort of Healthcare Workers
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030474 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 545
Abstract
We aimed at evaluating quantitative IgG response to BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine among health care workers (HCW), and exploring the role of demographic, clinical, and occupational factors as predictors of IgG levels. On May 2021, among 6687 HCW at the largest tertiary care University-Hospital [...] Read more.
We aimed at evaluating quantitative IgG response to BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine among health care workers (HCW), and exploring the role of demographic, clinical, and occupational factors as predictors of IgG levels. On May 2021, among 6687 HCW at the largest tertiary care University-Hospital of Northwestern Italy, at a median of 15 weeks (Interquartile range-IQR 13.6–16.0) after second-dose, serological response was present in 99.8%. Seropositivity was >97% in all the subgroups, except those self-reporting immunodeficiency (94.9%). Overall, the median serological IgG value was 990 BAU/mL (IQR 551–1870), with most of subjects with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection or with shorter time lapse (2–8 weeks) between vaccination and serology with values in the highest quintile (>2080). At multivariable analysis, significant predictors of lower values were increasing age, male, current smoking, immunodeficiency, recent occupational contacts, and increasing time lapse from vaccination; conversely, previous infection and recent household contacts were significantly associated with higher IgG levels. Subjects with previous infection kept a very high level (around 2000 BAU/mL) up to 120 days. These results, besides supporting a high serological response up to 4–5 months, suggest predictive factors of faster decay of IgG levels that could be useful in tailoring vaccination strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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Article
Comparative Reverse Vaccinology of Piscirickettsia salmonis, Aeromonas salmonicida, Yersinia ruckeri, Vibrio anguillarum and Moritella viscosa, Frequent Pathogens of Atlantic Salmon and Lumpfish Aquaculture
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030473 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Marine finfish aquaculture is affected by diverse infectious diseases, and they commonly occur as co-infection. Some of the most frequent and prevalent Gram-negative bacterial pathogens of the finfish aquaculture include Piscirickettsia salmonis, Aeromonas salmonicida, Yersinia ruckeri, Vibrio anguillarum and Moritella [...] Read more.
Marine finfish aquaculture is affected by diverse infectious diseases, and they commonly occur as co-infection. Some of the most frequent and prevalent Gram-negative bacterial pathogens of the finfish aquaculture include Piscirickettsia salmonis, Aeromonas salmonicida, Yersinia ruckeri, Vibrio anguillarum and Moritella viscosa. To prevent co-infections in aquaculture, polyvalent or universal vaccines would be ideal. Commercial polyvalent vaccines against some of these pathogens are based on whole inactivated microbes and their efficacy is controversial. Identification of common antigens can contribute to the development of effective universal or polyvalent vaccines. In this study, we identified common and unique antigens of P. salmonis, A. salmonicida, Y. ruckeri, V. anguillarum and M. viscosa based on a reverse vaccinology pipeline. We screened the proteome of several strains using complete available genomes and identified a total of 154 potential antigens, 74 of these identified antigens corresponded to secreted proteins, and 80 corresponded to exposed outer membrane proteins (OMPs). Further analysis revealed the outer membrane antigens TonB-dependent siderophore receptor, OMP assembly factor BamA, the LPS assembly protein LptD and secreted antigens flagellar hook assembly protein FlgD and flagellar basal body rod protein FlgG are present in all pathogens used in this study. Sequence and structural alignment of these antigens showed relatively low percentage sequence identity but good structural homology. Common domains harboring several B-cells and T-cell epitopes binding to major histocompatibility (MHC) class I and II were identified. Selected peptides were evaluated for docking with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Lumpfish MHC class II. Interaction of common peptide-MHC class II showed good in-silico binding affinities and dissociation constants between −10.3 to −6.5 kcal mol−1 and 5.10 × 10−9 to 9.4 × 10−6 M. This study provided the first list of antigens that can be used for the development of polyvalent or universal vaccines against these Gram-negative bacterial pathogens affecting finfish aquaculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines for Aquaculture)
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Systematic Review
Immunogenicity and Safety of Childhood Combination Vaccines: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030472 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 743
Abstract
Background: Vaccination is considered the most effective and economical measure for controlling infectious diseases. Although combination vaccines are widely used worldwide, whether any of the combination vaccines is superior to each separate vaccine has yet to be established. This systematic review and meta-analysis [...] Read more.
Background: Vaccination is considered the most effective and economical measure for controlling infectious diseases. Although combination vaccines are widely used worldwide, whether any of the combination vaccines is superior to each separate vaccine has yet to be established. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize the available evidence on the effectiveness and safety of combination vaccines in children. Methods: A systematic search was conducted from database inception to August 20, 2021, in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, and Scopus. Published randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and open-label trials of immunogenicity and safety of combined vaccines were selected. The results of the studies were quantitatively synthesized. Results: Overall, 25 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that the combined diptheria–tetanus–acellular pertussis (DTaP)–hepatitis B virus (HBV)–Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine group had lower levels of anti-tetanus antibodies than the combined DTaP–HBV and separate Hib vaccinations group (SMD = −0.23; 95% CI: −0.42, −0.05; p = 0.013). Meanwhile, the combined DTaP–HBV–inactivated polio virus (IPV)–Hib vaccine group had higher levels of anti-pertussis (PT) and anti-filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) antibodies than the combined DTaP–IPV–Hib and separate HBV vaccinations group (anti-PT: SMD = 0.60; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.75; p < 0.0001; anti-FHA: SMD = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.78; p = 0.042). The levels of anti-pertactin (PRN) antibodies were lower in the combined DTaP–IPV–Hib vaccine group than in the combined DTaP–IPV and separate Hib vaccinations group (SMD = −0.13; 95% CI: −0.27, −0.00; p = 0.047). The individuals injected with the DTaP–HBV–IPV–Hib vaccine had a lower risk of pain and swelling than those injected with the combined DTaP–HBV–IPV and separate Hib vaccines (pain: RR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.69, 0.91; p = 0.001; swelling: RR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.78, 0.98; p = 0.020). However, the group that received the DTaP–HBV–IPV–Hib vaccine had a higher risk of fever than the group that received DTaP–HBV–IPV and separate Hib vaccinations (RR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.26; p = 0.021). Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that the combined vaccines (DTaP–IPV–Hib, DTaP–HBV–Hib, DTaP–HBV–IPV–Hib) are safe, well-tolerated, and provide immunogenic alternatives to separate vaccines in children. The combined DTaP–HBV–IPV–Hib vaccine showed a higher incidence of fever, which was lower than the cumulative incidence of fever induced by all vaccines. Future studies should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of using combined vaccines and compare the potency of different formulations to improve routine local or national childhood immunization programs. Full article
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Editorial
Human Consciousness and Behavior towards Infectious Diseases and Vaccines 2.0: A Commentary from Special Issue Editors
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030471 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
The WHO has identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the 10 threats to global health [...] Full article
Article
Trends in COVID-19 Vaccination Intent, Determinants and Reasons for Vaccine Hesitancy: Results from Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys in the Adult General Population of Greece during November 2020–June 2021
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030470 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier to achieving large-scale COVID-19 vaccination. We report trends in vaccination intention and associated determinants from surveys in the adult general population in Greece. Four cross-sectional phone surveys were conducted in November 2020 and February, April and May [...] Read more.
Vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier to achieving large-scale COVID-19 vaccination. We report trends in vaccination intention and associated determinants from surveys in the adult general population in Greece. Four cross-sectional phone surveys were conducted in November 2020 and February, April and May 2021 on nationally representative samples of adults in Greece. Multinomial logistic regression was used on the combined data of the surveys to evaluate independent predictors of vaccination unwillingness/uncertainty. Vaccination intention increased from 67.6% in November 2020 to 84.8% in May 2021. Individuals aged 65 years or older were more willing to be vaccinated (May 2021: 92.9% vs. 79.5% in 18–39 years, p < 0.001) but between age-groups differences decreased over time. Vaccination intention increased substantially in both men and women, though earlier among men, and was higher in individuals with prograduate education (May 2021: 91.3% vs. 84.0% up to junior high). From multivariable analysis, unwillingness and/or uncertainty to be vaccinated was associated with younger age, female gender (in particular in the April 2021 survey), lower educational level and living with a child ≤12 years old. Among those with vaccine hesitancy, concerns about vaccine effectiveness declined over time (21.6% in November 2020 vs. 9.6% in May 2021, p = 0.014) and were reported more often by men; safety concerns remained stable over time (66.3% in November 2020 vs. 62.1% in May 2021, p = 0.658) and were reported more often by women. In conclusion, vaccination intention increased substantially over time. Tailored communication is needed to address vaccine hesitancy and concerns regarding vaccine safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Epidemiology and Vaccines)
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Review
Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 Vaccines against COVID-19 Infection: A Meta-Analysis of Test-Negative Design Studies
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030469 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Although numerous COVID-19 vaccines are effective against COVID-19 infection and variants of concern (VOC) in the real world, it is imperative to obtain evidence of the corresponding vaccine effectiveness (VE). This study estimates the real-world effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines against [...] Read more.
Although numerous COVID-19 vaccines are effective against COVID-19 infection and variants of concern (VOC) in the real world, it is imperative to obtain evidence of the corresponding vaccine effectiveness (VE). This study estimates the real-world effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines against COVID-19 infection and determines the influence of different virus variants on VE by using test-negative design (TND) studies. We systematically searched for published articles on the efficacy of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 against COVID-19 infection. Two researchers independently selected and extracted data from eligible studies. We calculated the VE associated with different vaccine types, SARS-CoV-2 variants, and vaccination statuses, using an inverse variance random-effects model. We selected 19 eligible studies in the meta-analysis from 1651 records. For the partially vaccinated group, the VE of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 was 61% and 78% against COVID-19 infection, respectively. For the completely vaccinated group, the VE of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 was 90% and 92% against COVID-19 infection, respectively. During subgroup analyses, the overall VE of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 against the Delta variant was 53% and 71%, respectively, for the partially vaccinated group; the respective VE values were 85% and 91% for the fully vaccinated group. Irrespective of the BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines, the Delta variant significantly weakened vaccine protection for the partially vaccinated group, while full vaccination was highly effective against COVID-19 infection and various VOC. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is more effective against COVID-19 infection and VOC than the BNT162b2 vaccine, especially for the partially vaccinated group. Overall, the results provide recommendations for national and regional vaccine policies. Full article
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Case Report
An Outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus-4 in an Ecological Donkey Milk Farm in Romania
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030468 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Equine herpesviruses are important pathogens causing significant economic loss in equine and asinine populations. EHV-1/4 strains are mainly associated with respiratory distress. The aim of this study is to report the first EHV 4-associated respiratory disease in donkeys in Romania. Thirty-seven of three [...] Read more.
Equine herpesviruses are important pathogens causing significant economic loss in equine and asinine populations. EHV-1/4 strains are mainly associated with respiratory distress. The aim of this study is to report the first EHV 4-associated respiratory disease in donkeys in Romania. Thirty-seven of three hundred jennies in an ecological donkey farm in southwest Romania started initially showing signs of severe upper respiratory tract disease, with ten concomitant late abortions/neonatal deaths and three neurological cases. There were nine fatalities. Pathological examination was performed, and samples were collected for Real-Time PCR analysis and histology. In addition, serum samples from 28 individuals with respiratory symptoms were collected and tested using indirect ELISA. RT-PCR identified the EHV-4 strain. Acute, diffuse necrotizing bronchointerstitial pneumonia with occasional intraepithelial intranuclear viral inclusion bodies was identified. Additionally, EHV-1/4-specific antibodies were found in 15 of the 28 sampled animals. Few studies on donkeys and herpesviruses have been published, and this is the first reported case of EHV-4 outbreak in Romania. There is a need for more extensive seroprevalence studies as, currently, the status of EHV-4 infection in donkeys in Romania is unknown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Infectious Diseases and Immunotherapy)
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Article
Exploring the Motivational Roots of Getting Vaccinated against COVID-19 in a Population of Vaccinated Pediatric Healthcare Professionals: Evidence from an Italian Cross-Sectional Study
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030467 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 583
Abstract
Health care professionals (HCPs) working in pediatric and perinatal settings have a strong influence on parental vaccine decision making. Furthermore, HCPs’ motivations behind vaccine acceptance are associated with their likelihood of recommending vaccines to their patients. Understanding these motivations in the context of [...] Read more.
Health care professionals (HCPs) working in pediatric and perinatal settings have a strong influence on parental vaccine decision making. Furthermore, HCPs’ motivations behind vaccine acceptance are associated with their likelihood of recommending vaccines to their patients. Understanding these motivations in the context of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign may aid in the development of interventions that improve pediatric practitioners’ vaccine confidence and prescription. We aimed at studying the motivations affecting COVID-19 vaccination behavior among a sample of vaccinated Italian HCPs working in pediatric settings. A sample (n = 162) of HCPs completed an online self-reported survey exploring motivations behind getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Emotions of HCPs at the moment of COVID-19 vaccination injection were also recorded to collect data about the main feelings connected to the vaccination decision-making process. Data were collected between 19 March 2021 and 21 April 2021. The most effective motivational incentives were the beliefs that vaccination helped protect vulnerable members of the community (97.5% agreement), could protect one’s own health (93.7%), health authorities could be trusted (58.7%), and the vaccine had been rigorously tested (53.8%). Actual personal exposure to COVID was less important (reported importance agreement 16–24%), and the influence of news and social media was still lower (4–6%). Differences between physicians’ and other HCPs’ ratings were also found. Finally, emotional status at vaccination showed high ratings for positive emotions surrounding the vaccination act. This study provided additional evidence about the multifaceted motivations behind COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and showed the potential of understanding the psychosocial roots of vaccine behaviors for shaping public communication campaigns. The highly emotionally charged response obtained underscores the importance of strengthening the community feeling among HCPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Vaccines and Society)
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Article
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Side Effects among Healthcare Workers in Trinidad and Tobago
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030466 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Vaccine hesitancy due to safety concerns is a hindrance to the success of vaccination campaigns. In February 2021, Trinidad and Tobago commenced its National COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Healthcare workers were among the first group to receive the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford–AstraZeneca (Covishield, Serum Institute [...] Read more.
Vaccine hesitancy due to safety concerns is a hindrance to the success of vaccination campaigns. In February 2021, Trinidad and Tobago commenced its National COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Healthcare workers were among the first group to receive the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford–AstraZeneca (Covishield, Serum Institute of India, Pune, India), the first COVID-19 vaccine available nationally. This study examined the safety of this vaccine in terms of the systemic and local adverse events following immunization reported by healthcare worker recipients. A cross-sectional study was conducted via a telephone questionnaire. Data concerning demographics, medical and COVID-19-related anamneses, and local and systemic side effects experienced within the first 48 h after receiving the first and second dose of this vaccine, respectively, were gathered. Among the 687 participants (male = 275; female = 412), prevalence of fever, body pain, chills, nausea, myalgia, headache, malaise, fatigue, and other systemic symptoms declined significantly 48 h after administration of the second dose compared to the first dose. Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression demonstrated the greater likelihood of younger recipients to report systemic symptoms compared to older recipients. Multiple logistic regression indicated that females were more likely to report headache, fatigue, and discomfort, and were less likely to report no symptoms, compared to males, after both doses. On average, recipients reported less local and systemic side effects 48 h after receiving the second dose compared to the first dose. The reported rate of occurrence of side effects was <50% for most adverse events, which is consistent with the manufacturer’s claims that the vaccine is safe. This study adds data on the safety of this vaccine in a population that has not been previously studied. The findings can inform public health policy efforts to lower vaccine hesitancy based on safety concerns surrounding the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine across various groups in society, including healthcare workers. Full article
Article
Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses 5 Months Post Complete Vaccination of Moroccan Healthcare Workers
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030465 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
Data about the duration of antibodies after vaccination show that the protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decline over time. This study aims to determine anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG levels in healthcare workers five months after the second vaccination dose. We collected samples from [...] Read more.
Data about the duration of antibodies after vaccination show that the protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decline over time. This study aims to determine anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG levels in healthcare workers five months after the second vaccination dose. We collected samples from 82 participants who were fully vaccinated with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BBIBP-CorV. We assessed anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies using a Euroimmun ELISA and an Abbott Architect ™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG test. Of the 82 participants, 65.85% were seropositive for IgG using ELISA, and 86.59% were positive for IgG according to the Abbott Architect ™ test. Individuals vaccinated with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine had a median anti-S1 antibody level of 1.810 AU/mL [interquartile range (IQR), 1.080–3.7340] and 171.7 AU/mL [79.9–684.6] according to the Euroimmun ELISA and Abbott Architect test, respectively. These tests indicated that people vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV had a median anti-S1 antibody level of 1.840 AU/mL [0.810–2.960] and 126.7 AU/mL [54.9–474.3], respectively. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference between the positivity rates of the vaccinated individuals, either for gender or for age. In addition, we found no significant difference between the two vaccines. Our study provides information on the longevity of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in people at least five months after vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Global Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Serology)
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Hesitancy among Healthcare Workers: A Retrospective Observational Study in Singapore
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030464 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 booster uptake remained poor among healthcare workers (HCW) despite evidence of improved immunity against Delta and Omicron variants. While most studies used a questionnaire to assess hesitancy, this study aimed to identify factors affecting booster hesitancy by examining actual vaccine uptake [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 booster uptake remained poor among healthcare workers (HCW) despite evidence of improved immunity against Delta and Omicron variants. While most studies used a questionnaire to assess hesitancy, this study aimed to identify factors affecting booster hesitancy by examining actual vaccine uptake across time. Method: COVID-19 vaccination database records among HCW working at seven Singaporean public primary care clinics between January to December 2021 were extracted, with sex, profession, place of practice, vaccination type, and dates. Time to booster was calculated from the date of vaccination minus date of eligibility. Chi-square test was used to compare the relationship between first dose and booster hesitancy, Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test were adopted to evaluate differences in cumulative booster uptake. Multivariate Cox regression was used to investigate predictors for timely booster vaccination. Vaccination rate was charted across time and corroborated with media releases pertaining to legislative changes. Results: A total of 877 of 891 (98.9%) primary care HCW were fully vaccinated, 73.8% of eligible HCW had taken the booster. HCW were less booster hesitant [median 16 (5–31.3) days] compared to the first dose [median 39 (13–119.3) days]. First dose-hesitant HCW were more likely to be booster hesitant (OR = 3.66, 95%CI 2.61–5.14). Adjusting for sex, workplace, and time to first dose, ancillary (HR = 1.53, 95%CI 1.03–2.28), medical (HR = 1.8, 95%CI 1.18–2.74), and nursing (HR = 1.8, 95%CI 1.18–2.37) received boosters earlier compared with administrative staff. No temporal relationship was observed between booster uptake, legislative changes, and COVID-19 infection numbers. Conclusion: Vaccine hesitancy among HCW had improved from first dose to booster, with timely booster vaccination among medical and nursing staff. Tailored education, risk messaging, and strategic legislation might help to reduce delayed booster vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Beliefs on Vaccines)
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Article
Susceptibility to Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Four Districts of Xaysomboun Province, Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030463 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 538
Abstract
Xaysomboun province has some of the lowest health indicators in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the vaccination, susceptibility and exposure status of the population to hepatitis B virus (HBV), measles, rubella, and tetanus. Participants aged 5 years [...] Read more.
Xaysomboun province has some of the lowest health indicators in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the vaccination, susceptibility and exposure status of the population to hepatitis B virus (HBV), measles, rubella, and tetanus. Participants aged 5 years and older were randomly selected from four districts. From each enrolled participant, demographic data and 5 mL of blood sample were taken. HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies against HBV, measles, rubella, and tetanus were detected by ELISA. A total of 363 participants (age 5 to 80 years) were included. HBV exposure, as determined by anti-HBV core (anti-HBc) antibodies, was 56.2% overall, and was significantly higher among those aged ≥21 years (78.1%). HBsAg was detected in 9.4% overall and increased to 20% in ages 31–40 years. Only 13.8% of participants had serology indicative of vaccination (anti-HBs positive, anti-HBc negative). Seroprotection against measles was 74.6% overall but only 41.7% in children aged 5–10 years. Anti-rubella IgG was 94.2% overall and high in all age groups. Tetanus seroprevalence was only 47.4% overall but significantly higher in females aged 31–40 (75.6%). We suggest strengthening of routine and booster HBV, measles, and tetanus vaccine coverage in Xaysomboun province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Virus Epidemic Control)
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Article
Whole Proteome-Based Therapeutic Targets Annotation and Designing of Multi-Epitope-Based Vaccines against the Gram-Negative XDR-Alcaligenes faecalis Bacterium
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030462 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 585
Abstract
This study involved therapeutic targets mining for the extremely drug-resistant bacterial species called Alcaligenes faecalis, which is known to infect humans. The infections caused by this species in different parts of the human body have been linked with a higher degree of [...] Read more.
This study involved therapeutic targets mining for the extremely drug-resistant bacterial species called Alcaligenes faecalis, which is known to infect humans. The infections caused by this species in different parts of the human body have been linked with a higher degree of resistance to several classes of antibiotics. Meanwhile, alternate therapeutic options are needed to treat these bacterial infections in clinical settings. In the current study, a subtractive proteomics approach was adapted to annotate the whole proteome of Alcaligenes faecalis and prioritize target proteins for vaccine-related therapeutics design. This was followed by targeted protein-specific immune epitope prediction and prioritization. The shortlisted epitopes were further subjected to structural design and in silico validation of putative vaccines against Alcaligenes faecalis. The final vaccine designs were also evaluated for potential interaction analysis with human TLR-2 through molecular docking. Finally, the putative vaccines were subjected to in silico cloning and immune simulation approaches to ensure the feasibility of the target-specific vaccine constructs in further experimental designs. Full article
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Article
Cytokine Adjuvants IL-7 and IL-15 Improve Humoral Responses of a SHIV LentiDNA Vaccine in Animal Models
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030461 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 756
Abstract
HIV-1 remains a major public health issue worldwide in spite of efficacious antiviral therapies, but with no cure or preventive vaccine. The latter has been very challenging, as virus infection is associated with numerous escape mechanisms from host specific immunity and the correlates [...] Read more.
HIV-1 remains a major public health issue worldwide in spite of efficacious antiviral therapies, but with no cure or preventive vaccine. The latter has been very challenging, as virus infection is associated with numerous escape mechanisms from host specific immunity and the correlates of protection remain incompletely understood. We have developed an innovative vaccine strategy, inspired by the efficacy of live-attenuated virus, but with the safety of a DNA vaccine, to confer both cellular and humoral responses. The CAL-SHIV-IN lentiDNA vaccine comprises the backbone of the pathogenic SHIVKU2 genome, able to mimic the early phase of viral infection, but with a deleted integrase gene to ensure safety precluding integration within the host genome. This vaccine prototype, constitutively expressing viral antigen under the CAEV LTR promoter, elicited a variety of vaccine-specific, persistent CD4 and CD8 T cells against SIV-Gag and Nef up to 80 weeks post-immunization in cynomolgus macaques. Furthermore, these specific responses led to antiviral control of the pathogenic SIVmac251. To further improve the efficacy of this vaccine, we incorporated the IL-7 or IL-15 genes into the CAL-SHIV-IN plasmid DNA in efforts to increase the pool of vaccine-specific memory T cells. In this study, we examined the immunogenicity of the two co-injected lentiDNA vaccines CAL-SHIV-IN IRES IL-7 and CAL-SHIV-IN IRES IL-15 in BALB/cJ mice and rhesus macaques and compared the immune responses with those generated by the parental vaccine CAL-SHIV-IN. This co-immunization elicited potent vaccine-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells both in mice and rhesus macaques. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) antibodies were detected up to 40 weeks post-immunization in both plasma and mucosal compartments of rhesus macaques and were enhanced by the cytokines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV Pathogenesis, Vaccine and Eradication Strategies)
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Article
Flu Vaccination Coverage and Predictors of Non-Vaccination in Military Health Corps Personnel 2016–2017 and 2019–2021
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030460 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 523
Abstract
(1) Background: Vaccination is the most effective intervention to control seasonal influenza morbidity and mortality. The present study aimed to determine the influenza vaccination coverage in the Military Health Corps personnel in the 2020–2021 season, as well as the time trend and the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Vaccination is the most effective intervention to control seasonal influenza morbidity and mortality. The present study aimed to determine the influenza vaccination coverage in the Military Health Corps personnel in the 2020–2021 season, as well as the time trend and the possible influence of the pandemic on coverage, in order to study the reasons that led to the non-vaccination of health professionals and to analyze adverse drug reactions (ADRs). (2) Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted from February to May 2021. All FAS CMS personnel were included. A self-administered questionnaire was sent by e-mail to the selected personnel. (3) Results: Vaccination coverage in the 2016–2017 season was 15.8% (n = 276), in the 2019–2020 season it was 17.41% (n = 424), and in the 2020–2021 season it was 24.22% (n = 590). The percentage of vaccinated men was higher than the percentage of women. In 2019 and 2020 the most vaccinated group was 31–40 years old. Lieutenants had the highest vaccination uptake in 2019 and 2020. The personnel with the highest uptake of vaccines were those in the specialty of nursing in each of 2016, 2019 and 2020, with >30 years of time worked in 2016. In terms of factors leading to refusal of vaccination, the most reported was “not considered a risk group” (23.0%), and the least reported was “avoidance of vaccine administration” (2.2%). Eighty individuals presented adverse reactions after vaccine administration (9.6%). (4) Conclusions: The rate of influenza vaccination among healthcare professionals was lower during the 2020 season compared to the previous season, but was expected to increase in the upcoming 2021 season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination and Compliance/Hesitancy)
Communication
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Symptomatic Infections in Previously Infected or Vaccinated South African Healthcare Workers
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030459 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 823
Abstract
We investigated Omicron infections among healthcare workers (HCW) presenting with symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and evaluated the protective effect of vaccination or prior infection. Between 24 November and 31 December 2021, HCW in Johannesburg, South Africa, were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection by Nucleic [...] Read more.
We investigated Omicron infections among healthcare workers (HCW) presenting with symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and evaluated the protective effect of vaccination or prior infection. Between 24 November and 31 December 2021, HCW in Johannesburg, South Africa, were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). Blood samples collected either at the symptomatic visit or in the 3 months prior, were tested for spike protein immunoglobulin G (IgG). Overall, 433 symptomatic HCW were included in the analysis, with 190 (43.9%) having an Omicron infection; 69 (16.7%) were unvaccinated and 270 (62.4%) received a single dose of the Ad26.COV.2 vaccine. There was no difference in the odds of identifying Omicron between unvaccinated and Ad26.COV.2 vaccinated HCW (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.46, 1.43). One-hundred and fifty-four (35.3%) HCW had at least one SARS-CoV-2 NAAT-confirmed prior infection; these had lower odds of Omicron infection compared with those without past infection (aOR 0.55, 95%CI: 0.36, 0.84). Anti-spike IgG concentration of 1549 binding antibody unit/mL was suggestive of significant reduction in the risk of symptomatic Omicron infection. We found high reinfection and vaccine breakthrough infection rates with the Omicron variant among HCW. Prior infection and high anti-spike IgG concentration were protective against Omicron infection. Full article
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Article
Seroprevalence against Diphtheria in Pregnant Women and Newborns in Colombia: New Arguments to Promote Maternal Immunization
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030458 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 526
Abstract
The tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is recommended during pregnancy for neonatal protection against pertussis, although little is known of the protection it provides against diphtheria. The work used a cross-sectional design to estimate seroprevalence against diphtheria in [...] Read more.
The tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is recommended during pregnancy for neonatal protection against pertussis, although little is known of the protection it provides against diphtheria. The work used a cross-sectional design to estimate seroprevalence against diphtheria in 805 pregnant women with ≥37 gestation weeks and their newborns whose deliveries were attended in eight hospitals randomly chosen from a subregion of Antioquia, Colombia and to explore factors related with maternal protection. Levels of IgG antibodies were determined by using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. Placental transfer of antibodies and crude and adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) were analyzed to describe factors related with maternal protection against diphtheria. Protection against diphtheria was observed in 91.7% (95% CI 90.3–93.0) of the pregnant women and 93.1% (95% CI 91.7–94.4) of newborns, whose antibody levels were positively correlated (Spearman’s r = 0.769; p = 0.000). Maternal protection could be influenced by having been vaccinated during the current pregnancy (aPR 0.85, 95% CI: 0.82–0.93). The protective effect of vaccination during pregnancy and the efficiency of maternal antibody transfers were detected. Public health efforts should focus on increasing Tdap vaccination during each pregnancy to protect mothers and newborns against diphtheria. Full article
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Review
Genetic Modification of T Cells for the Immunotherapy of Cancer
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030457 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Immunotherapy is a beneficial treatment approach for multiple cancers, however, current therapies are effective only in a small subset of patients. Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) is a facet of immunotherapy where T cells targeting the tumor cells are transferred to the patient with [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy is a beneficial treatment approach for multiple cancers, however, current therapies are effective only in a small subset of patients. Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) is a facet of immunotherapy where T cells targeting the tumor cells are transferred to the patient with several primary forms, utilizing unmodified or modified T cells: tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), genetically modified T cell receptor transduced T cells, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) transduced T cells. Many clinical trials are underway investigating the efficacy and safety of these different subsets of ACT, as well as trials that combine one of these subsets with another type of immunotherapy. The main challenges existing with ACT are improving clinical responses and decreasing adverse events. Current research focuses on identifying novel tumor targeting T cell receptors, improving safety and efficacy, and investigating ACT in combination with other immunotherapies. Full article
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Article
Potential Antiviral Activity of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum KAU007 against Influenza Virus H1N1
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030456 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The development of antiviral resistance has exacerbated a growing threat to public health. As a result, there is increasing demand for unconventional antivirals that can effectively replace the presently in-use drugs. Lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) are among the most common bacteria used in [...] Read more.
The development of antiviral resistance has exacerbated a growing threat to public health. As a result, there is increasing demand for unconventional antivirals that can effectively replace the presently in-use drugs. Lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) are among the most common bacteria used in the food industry. These bacteria play an essential role in the fermentation of many foods and feed. Additionally, these bacteria are considered more economical, efficient, and safe “nutraceuticals” in the health care arsenal. Therefore, we carried out the screening and molecular characterization of raw camel milk LAB isolates and tested their inhibitory activity against influenza virus H1N1. The strain that exhibited the highest antiviral activity against the H1N1 virus, confirmed by hemagglutination assay, was identified as Lactiplantibacillus plantarum KAU007. The study also confirmed the non-cytotoxic behavior of CFCS isolated from KAU007 against MDCK cells, approving its safety concern against the mammalian cells. Besides, CFCS at 5 and 10 mg/mL significantly decreased the level of IFN-γ (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) and IL-6 (p < 0.001 and p < 0.005) in a dose-dependent manner, respectively. This is a preliminary report about the anti-influenza activity of KAU007 isolated from camel milk. This study reinforces that camel milk contains beneficial LAB isolates with antagonistic properties against the H1N1 influenza virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Host Immune Defensive Response toward Microbes)
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Article
How to Motivate SARS-CoV-2 Convalescents to Receive a Booster Vaccination? Influence on Vaccination Willingness
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030455 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
(1) Background: Booster vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2 convalescents are essential for achieving herd immunity. For the first time, this study examined the influencing factors of vaccination willingness among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals and identified vaccination-hesitant subgroups. (2) Methods: Individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR results were [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Booster vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2 convalescents are essential for achieving herd immunity. For the first time, this study examined the influencing factors of vaccination willingness among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals and identified vaccination-hesitant subgroups. (2) Methods: Individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR results were recruited by telephone. They completed an online questionnaire during their home isolation in Germany. This questionnaire assessed the vaccination willingness and its influencing factors. (3) Results: 224 home-isolated individuals with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the study. Vaccination willingness of home-isolated SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals with asymptomatic or moderate course was 54%. The following factors were associated with significantly lower vaccination willingness: younger age, foreign nationality, low income, low trust in vaccination effectiveness, fear of negative vaccination effects, low trust in the governmental pandemic management, low subjective informativeness about SARS-CoV-2, support of conspiracy theories. (4) Conclusions: The vaccination willingness of home-isolated SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals with asymptomatic or moderate symptomatic course was low. Motivational vaccination campaigns should be adapted to individuals with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and consider the vaccination-hesitant groups. Vaccination education should be demand-driven, low-threshold, begin during the acute infection phase, and be guided for example by the established 5C model (“confidence, complacency, constraints, calculation, collective responsibility”). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Vaccination Willingness for COVID-19)
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Commentary
COVID-19 Vaccines and Hyperglycemia—Is There a Need for Postvaccination Surveillance?
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030454 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use have undoubtedly played the most significant role in combating the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reducing disease severity and the risk of death among those affected, especially among those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. The management of blood [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use have undoubtedly played the most significant role in combating the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reducing disease severity and the risk of death among those affected, especially among those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. The management of blood glucose levels has become critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where data show two- to threefold higher intensive care hospital admissions and more than twice the mortality rate among diabetic COVID-19 patients when compared with their nondiabetic counterparts. Furthermore, new-onset diabetes and severe hyperglycemia-related complications, such as hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (HHS) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), were reported in COVID-19 patients. However, irrespective of the kind of vaccine and dosage number, possible vaccination-induced hyperglycemia and associated complications were reported among vaccinated individuals. The current article summarizes the available case reports on COVID-19 vaccination-induced hyperglycemia, the possible molecular mechanism responsible for this phenomenon, and the outstanding questions that need to be addressed and discusses the need to identify at-risk individuals and promote postvaccination monitoring/surveillance among at-risk individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The COVID Vaccine)
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