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Vaccines, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 150 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Seasonal influenza can cause severe morbidity, mortality, and financial burden in pediatric and adult populations. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 15% to 45% of children were infected yearly with influenza viruses. The influenza vaccine (IV) is considered the most effective way to prevent influenza and influenza-related complications. Up to 2018, only 5 out of 30 EU/EEA member states offered seasonal IV to healthy children or adolescents free of charge. Due to the high burden of influenza and the low IV coverage in the pediatric population, this study aims to assess the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing influenza infection in a cohort of healthy children. Our findings showed high influenza vaccine effectiveness, as well as no additional or prolonged effects of the influenza vaccine, suggesting the importance of seasonal flu vaccination every year. View this paper.
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26 pages, 1248 KiB  
Article
Economic-Related Inequalities in Zero-Dose Children: A Study of Non-Receipt of Diphtheria–Tetanus–Pertussis Immunization Using Household Health Survey Data from 89 Low- and Middle-Income Countries
by Nicole Bergen, Bianca O. Cata-Preta, Anne Schlotheuber, Thiago M. Santos, M. Carolina Danovaro-Holliday, Tewodaj Mengistu, Samir V. Sodha, Daniel R. Hogan, Aluisio J. D. Barros and Ahmad Reza Hosseinpoor
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040633 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4214
Abstract
Despite advances in scaling up new vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, the global number of unvaccinated children has remained high over the past decade. We used 2000–2019 household survey data from 154 surveys representing 89 low- and middle-income countries to assess within-country, [...] Read more.
Despite advances in scaling up new vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, the global number of unvaccinated children has remained high over the past decade. We used 2000–2019 household survey data from 154 surveys representing 89 low- and middle-income countries to assess within-country, economic-related inequality in the prevalence of one-year-old children with zero doses of diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP) vaccine. Zero-dose DTP prevalence data were disaggregated by household wealth quintile. Difference, ratio, slope index of inequality, concentration index, and excess change measures were calculated to assess the latest situation and change over time, by country income grouping for 17 countries with high zero-dose DTP numbers and prevalence. Across 89 countries, the median prevalence of zero-dose DTP was 7.6%. Within-country inequalities mostly favored the richest quintile, with 19 of 89 countries reporting a rich–poor gap of ≥20.0 percentage points. Low-income countries had higher inequality than lower–middle-income countries and upper–middle-income countries (difference between the median prevalence in the poorest and richest quintiles: 14.4, 8.9, and 2.7 percentage points, respectively). Zero-dose DTP prevalence among the poorest households of low-income countries declined between 2000 and 2009 and between 2010 and 2019, yet economic-related inequality remained high in many countries. Widespread economic-related inequalities in zero-dose DTP prevalence are particularly pronounced in low-income countries and have remained high over the previous decade. Full article
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15 pages, 283 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with Attitudes towards Preventing Head and Neck Cancer through HPV Vaccination in Poland: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey in 2021
by Wojciech Pinkas, Mateusz Jankowski and Waldemar Wierzba
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040632 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a risk factor for head and neck cancers (HNC). HPV-related head and neck cancers are preventable through vaccination. This study aimed to assess the attitudes towards HPV vaccination among adults in Poland, with particular emphasis on preventing HPV-related [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a risk factor for head and neck cancers (HNC). HPV-related head and neck cancers are preventable through vaccination. This study aimed to assess the attitudes towards HPV vaccination among adults in Poland, with particular emphasis on preventing HPV-related HNC, as well as identifying factors associated with a willingness to vaccinate children against HPV. This cross-sectional survey was carried out in November 2021 on a nationwide, representative sample of 1082 adults in Poland. The computer-assisted web interview (CAWI) technique was used. Only 42.5% of respondents were aware that HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease. Less than one fourth of respondents (23.8%) indicated vaccination as an HPV infection prevention method and 51.9% of respondents correctly indicated HPV vaccine-eligible populations. Only 48.1% of respondents declared positive attitudes towards HPV vaccinations and declared that they would vaccinate their child against HPV. Males (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.11–1.85; p < 0.01), respondents who did not have children (OR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.04–2.14; p < 0.05), as well as those who had received a higher education (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.11–1.85; p < 0.01), had greater odds of indicating positive attitudes towards HPV vaccinations. This study revealed a low level of public awareness of HPV vaccination as a cancer prevention method in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Epidemiology and Vaccines)
14 pages, 1752 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Immunoreactivity and Protection Efficacy of Seneca Valley Virus Inactivated Vaccine in Finishing Pigs Based on Screening of Inactivated Agents and Adjuvants
by Wenqiang Liu, Xiangmin Li, Huawei Zhang, Genxi Hao, Xianfei Shang, Huilan Wang, Huanchun Chen and Ping Qian
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040631 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1883
Abstract
Seneca Valley virus (SVV), also known as Senecavirus A (SVA), is a non-enveloped and single-strand positive-sense RNA virus, which belongs to the genus of Senecavirus within the family Picornaviridae. Porcine idiopathic vesicular disease (PIVD) caused by SVV has frequently been prevalent in [...] Read more.
Seneca Valley virus (SVV), also known as Senecavirus A (SVA), is a non-enveloped and single-strand positive-sense RNA virus, which belongs to the genus of Senecavirus within the family Picornaviridae. Porcine idiopathic vesicular disease (PIVD) caused by SVV has frequently been prevalent in America and Southeast Asia (especially in China) since the end of 2014, and has caused continuing issues. In this study, an SVV strain isolated in China, named SVV LNSY01-2017 (MH064435), was used as the stock virus for the preparation of an SVV-inactivated vaccine. The SVV culture was directly inactivated using binary ethyleneimine (BEI) and β-propiolactone (BPL). BPL showed a better effect as an SVV inactivator, according to the results of pH variation, inactivation kinetics, and the detection of VP1 content during inactivation. Then, SVV inactivated by BPL was subsequently emulsified using different adjuvants, including MONTANIDETM ISA 201 VG (ISA 201) and MONTANIDETM IMG 1313 VG N (IMS 1313). The immunoreactivity and protection efficacy of the inactivated vaccines were then evaluated in finishing pigs. SVV-BPL-1313 showed a better humoral response post-immunization and further challenge tests post-immunization showed that both the SVV-BPL-201 and SVV-BPL-1313 combinations could resist challenge from a virulent SVV strain. The SVV LNSY01-2017-inactivated vaccine candidate developed here represents a promising alternative to prevent and control SVV infection in swine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Attenuated/Inactivated/Live and Vectored Vaccines)
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14 pages, 622 KiB  
Article
The Impact and Vaccination Coverage of Seasonal Influenza among Children Aged 6–59 Months in China in 2017–2018: An Internet Panel Survey
by Hangjie Zhang, Xiang Ren, Keqing Tian, Jianxing Yu, Aiqing Zhu, Lijie Zhang, George Fu Gao and Zhongjie Li
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040630 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
Seasonal influenza vaccination is highly recommended for 6–59-month-old children. To determine the impact of seasonal influenza and the factors affecting influenza vaccine uptake among children, we conducted an opt-in Internet panel survey of parents from 21 March 2018 to 1 April 2018. Overall, [...] Read more.
Seasonal influenza vaccination is highly recommended for 6–59-month-old children. To determine the impact of seasonal influenza and the factors affecting influenza vaccine uptake among children, we conducted an opt-in Internet panel survey of parents from 21 March 2018 to 1 April 2018. Overall, 40.5% (1913/4719) of children experienced influenza-like illness (ILI), 92.4% of parents sought medical care for children with ILI (outpatients: 61.2%, inpatients: 12.8%), 39.6% of parents preferred to take their sick child to a tertiary hospital, and 57.3% of family members requested leave to care for children with ILI. There was a median of three days of absenteeism (2, 5) per sick child, and 39.4% of children received the influenza vaccine during the 2017–2018 influenza season. Vaccine coverage among children aged 6–11 months and 48–59 months was lower than that among 12–47-month-old children. The top three reasons for not vaccinating were: the influenza vaccine was not recommended by healthcare workers (21.1%), no knowledge about the influenza vaccine (19.2%), and lack of confidence in the vaccine’s effectiveness (14.3%). Our findings highlight the need for awareness about the severity of influenza, hygiene behavior, and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine among children and their family members in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Influenza Virus Vaccines)
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10 pages, 1826 KiB  
Brief Report
COVID-19 Neutralizing Antibodies in Breast Milk of Mothers Vaccinated with Three Different Vaccines in Mexico
by Olivia Cabanillas-Bernal, Karla Cervantes-Luevano, Gonzalo Isai Flores-Acosta, Johanna Bernáldez-Sarabia and Alexei F. Licea-Navarro
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040629 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the largest pandemic of this century, and all aspects of this virus are being studied. The efforts to mitigate the negative effects associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have culminated in the development of several vaccines [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the largest pandemic of this century, and all aspects of this virus are being studied. The efforts to mitigate the negative effects associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have culminated in the development of several vaccines that are effective and safe for use to the general population. However, one aspect that remains relatively underexplored is the efficacy of different vaccines technologies (mRNA and Adenovirus) in providing passive immunity to infants through breastmilk of vaccinated mothers, and whether the antibodies passed through breast milk are functional. In this study, using a Micro-neutralization assay, we evaluate the presence of neutralizing antibodies in breast milk of lactating mothers vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 with the Pfizer-BioNtech, Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen, and CanSino Biologics vaccines. Our results show the greatest neutralizing effect in breast milk from mothers vaccinated with Pfizer, followed by mothers vaccinated with J&J. CanSino vaccinations yielded the breast milk with the least neutralizing effects. The results found in this study relating to the neutralizing capacity of breast milk against SARS-CoV-2 highlight the importance of corresponding health authorities recommending vaccination to lactating mothers and of the continuance of breastfeeding to infants due to the potential health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Global Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Serology)
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3 pages, 172 KiB  
Editorial
Herpesvirus Vaccines
by Stefano Petrini and Peter Maple
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040628 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1711
Abstract
The Special Issue titled “Herpesvirus Vaccines” contains different articles and a review regarding veterinary and human herpesviruses [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herpesvirus Vaccines)
16 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Self-Reported COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Willingness to Pay: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Thailand
by Kulpatsorn Mueangpoon, Chapipak Inchan, Panithan Kaewmuneechoke, Peerunda Rattana, Supanut Budsratid, Suthasinee Japakiya, Pitchayanont Ngamchaliew and Polathep Vichitkunakorn
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040627 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2989
Abstract
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and influencing factors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and willingness to pay in Thailand. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from 13 September 2021 to 14 January 2022. Data were collected using an online questionnaire consisting of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and influencing factors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and willingness to pay in Thailand. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from 13 September 2021 to 14 January 2022. Data were collected using an online questionnaire consisting of demographic characteristics, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (delay in acceptance and denying vaccination), determinants of vaccine hesitancy (complacency, convenience, and confidence), and willingness to pay. The general Thai population aged ≥18 years were surveyed. Among 705 respondents, 10.4% reported hesitancy, with significant determinants being low complacency and confidence in the vaccine; low convenience was not a significant determinant. Multivariate analysis revealed vaccine hesitancy among women, those with higher education, non-healthcare workers, and those who lived in rural areas. Furthermore, 77.2% of respondents were willing to pay, with the majority willing to pay in the range of THB 501–1000 ( USD 1 = THB 33) per dose. Increased monthly income, no impact of COVID-19 on income, and time period (before mRNA vaccine availability) significantly affected willingness to pay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination and Compliance/Hesitancy)
17 pages, 3446 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Determinants of Acceptance among Healthcare Workers, Academics and Tertiary Students in Nigeria
by Emmanuel O. Njoga, Philip P. Mshelbwala, Kenneth O. Abah, Olajoju J. Awoyomi, Kinley Wangdi, Shedrach B. Pewan, Felix A. Oyeleye, Haruna B. Galadima, Salisu A. Alhassan, Chinwe E. Okoli, Elisha Z. Kwaja, Onyinye S. Onwumere-Idolor, Everest O. Atadiose, Priscilla O. Awoyomi, Musawa A. Ibrahim, Kabiru M. Lawan, Shehu A. Zailani, Mohammed D. Salihu and Charles E. Rupprecht
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040626 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4426
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of human deaths, prompting the rapid development and regulatory approval of several vaccines. Although Nigeria implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program on 15 March 2021, low vaccine acceptance remains a major challenge. To provide insight on factors [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of human deaths, prompting the rapid development and regulatory approval of several vaccines. Although Nigeria implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program on 15 March 2021, low vaccine acceptance remains a major challenge. To provide insight on factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (VH), we conducted a national survey among healthcare workers, academics, and tertiary students, between 1 September 2021 and 31 December 2021. We fitted a logistic regression model to the data and examined factors associated with VH to support targeted health awareness campaigns to address public concerns and improve vaccination rates on par with global efforts. A total of 1525 respondents took part in the survey, composed of healthcare-workers (24.5%, 373/1525), academics (26.9%, 410/1525), and students (48.7%, 742/1525). Only 29% (446/1525) of the respondents were vaccinated at the time of this study. Of the 446 vaccinated respondents, 35.7% (159/446), 61.4% (274/446) and 2.9% (13/446) had one, two and three or more doses, respectively. Reasons for VH included: difficulty in the vaccination request/registration protocols (21.3%, 633/1079); bad feelings towards the vaccines due to negative social media reports/rumours (21.3%, 633/1079); personal ideology/religious beliefs against vaccination (16.7%, 495/1079); and poor confidence that preventive measures were enough to protect against COVID-19 (11%, 323/1079). Some health concerns that deterred unvaccinated respondents were: innate immunity issues (27.7%, 345/1079); allergic reaction concerns (24.6%, 307/1079); and blood clot problems in women (21.4%, 266/1079). In the multivariable model, location of respondents/geopolitical zones, level of education, testing for COVID-19, occupation/job description and religion were significantly associated with VH. Findings from this study underscore the need for targeted awareness creation to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Nigeria and elsewhere. Besides professionals, similar studies are recommended in the general population to develop appropriate public health interventions to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Full article
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14 pages, 596 KiB  
Article
Social Capital, Urbanization Level, and COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake in the United States: A National Level Analysis
by Shan Qiao, Zhenlong Li, Jiajia Zhang, Xiaowen Sun, Camryn Garrett and Xiaoming Li
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040625 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2472
Abstract
Vaccination remains the most promising mitigation strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic. However, existing literature shows significant disparities in vaccination uptake in the United States. Using publicly available national-level data, we aimed to explore if county-level social capital can further explain disparities in vaccination [...] Read more.
Vaccination remains the most promising mitigation strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic. However, existing literature shows significant disparities in vaccination uptake in the United States. Using publicly available national-level data, we aimed to explore if county-level social capital can further explain disparities in vaccination uptake rates when adjusting for demographic and social determinants of health (SDOH) variables, and if association between social capital and vaccination uptake may vary by urbanization level. Bivariate analyses and a hierarchical multivariable quasi-binomial regression analysis were conducted, where the regression analysis was stratified by urban–rural status. The current study suggests that social capital contributes significantly to the disparities of vaccination uptake in the US. The results of the stratification analysis show common predictors of vaccine uptake but also suggest various patterns based on urbanization level regarding the associations of COVID-19 vaccination uptake with SDOH and social capital factors. The study provides a new perspective to address disparities in vaccination uptake through fostering social capital within communities; which may inform tailored public health intervention efforts to enhance social capital and promote vaccination uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination and Globe Public Health)
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3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Recent Advances in Vaccine Technology and Design
by Rossella Cianci and Laura Franza
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040624 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
If up until three years ago, infectious diseases were a lesser concern when compared to non-communicable diseases in Western countries, the ongoing pandemic has reminded us that things are not so clean-cut [...] Full article
16 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
Balancing Benefits and Harms of COVID-19 Vaccines: Lessons from the Ongoing Mass Vaccination Campaign in Lombardy, Italy
by Giovanni Corrao, Federico Rea, Matteo Franchi, Danilo Cereda, Antonio Barone, Catia Rosanna Borriello, Giulia Petra Della Valle, Michele Ercolanoni, Jose Jara, Giuseppe Preziosi, Manuel Maffeo, Francesco Mazziotta, Elisabetta Pierini, Francesco Lecis, Pierfrancesco Sanchirico, Francesco Vignali, Olivia Leoni, Ida Fortino, Massimo Galli, Giovanni Pavesi and Guido Bertolasoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040623 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2963
Abstract
Background. Limited evidence exists on the balance between the benefits and harms of the COVID-19 vaccines. The aim of this study is to compare the benefits and safety of mRNA-based (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) and adenovirus-vectored (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccines in subpopulations defined by age [...] Read more.
Background. Limited evidence exists on the balance between the benefits and harms of the COVID-19 vaccines. The aim of this study is to compare the benefits and safety of mRNA-based (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) and adenovirus-vectored (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccines in subpopulations defined by age and sex. Methods. All citizens who are newly vaccinated from 27 December 2020 to 3 May 2021 are matched to unvaccinated controls according to age, sex, and vaccination date. Study outcomes include the events that are expected to be avoided by vaccination (i.e., hospitalization and death from COVID-19) and those that might be increased after vaccine inoculation (i.e., venous thromboembolism). The incidence rate ratios (IRR) of vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens are separately estimated within strata of sex, age category and vaccine type. When suitable, number needed to treat (NNT) and number needed to harm (NNH) are calculated to evaluate the balance between the benefits and harm of vaccines within each sex and age category. Results. In total, 2,351,883 citizens are included because they received at least one dose of vaccine (755,557 Oxford-AstraZeneca and 1,596,326 Pfizer/Moderna). A reduced incidence of COVID-19-related outcomes is observed with a lowered incidence rate ranging from 55% to 89% and NNT values ranging from 296 to 3977. Evidence of an augmented incidence of harm-related outcomes is observed only for women aged <50 years within 28 days after Oxford-AstraZeneca (being the corresponding adjusted IRR of 2.4, 95% CI 1.1–5.6, and NNH value of 23,207, 95% CI 10,274–89,707). Conclusions. A favourable balance between benefits and harms is observed in the current study, even among younger women who received Oxford-AstraZeneca. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: The Way Back to Normal Life Is Now Marked)
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11 pages, 725 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Safety of Different Vaccine Boosters Following Two-Dose Inactivated Vaccines: A Parallel Controlled Prospective Study
by Zhi-Qiang Lin, Jiang-Nan Wu, Rong-Dong Huang, Fang-Qin Xie, Jun-Rong Li, Kui-Cheng Zheng and Dong-Juan Zhang
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040622 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
A vaccine booster to maintain high antibody levels and provide effective protection against COVID-19 has been recommended. However, little is known about the safety of a booster for different vaccines. We conducted a parallel controlled prospective study to compare the safety of a [...] Read more.
A vaccine booster to maintain high antibody levels and provide effective protection against COVID-19 has been recommended. However, little is known about the safety of a booster for different vaccines. We conducted a parallel controlled prospective study to compare the safety of a booster usingfour common vaccines in China. In total, 320 eligible participants who had received two doses of an inactivated vaccine were equally allocated to receive a booster of the same vaccine (Group A), a different inactivated vaccine (Group B), an adenovirus type-5 vectored vaccine (Group C), or a protein subunit vaccine (Group D). A higher risk of adverse reactions, observed up to 28 days after injection, was found in Groups C and D, compared to Group A, with odds ratios (OR) of 11.63 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.22–32.05) and 4.38 (1.53–12.56), respectively. Recipients in Group C were more likely to report ≥two reactions (OR = 29.18, 95% CI: 3.70–229.82), and had a higher risk of injection site pain, dizziness, and fatigue. A gender and age disparity in the risk of adverse reactions was identified. Despite the majority of reactions being mild, heterologous booster strategies do increase the risk of adverse reactions, relative to homologous boosters, in subjects who have had two doses of inactive vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Post-COVID-19 Complications and Vaccination Efficacy)
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14 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Hesitancy (VBH) and Its Drivers in Algeria: National Cross-Sectional Survey-Based Study
by Mohamed Lounis, Djihad Bencherit, Mohammed Amir Rais and Abanoub Riad
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040621 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 4776
Abstract
Due to the emergence of various highly contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2, vaccine boosters were adopted as a complementary strategy in different countries. This strategy has, however, posed another challenge for the national authorities to convince their population to receive the booster after the [...] Read more.
Due to the emergence of various highly contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2, vaccine boosters were adopted as a complementary strategy in different countries. This strategy has, however, posed another challenge for the national authorities to convince their population to receive the booster after the first challenge of COVID-19 primer dose vaccines. This study was conducted to determine COVID-19 vaccine booster acceptance and its associated factors in the general population in Algeria. Using social media platforms, an online self-administered questionnaire was distributed between 28 January and 5 March 2022 for all Algerian citizens who received COVID-19 vaccines. Overall, 787 respondents were included in this study. Among them, 51.6%, 25%, and 23.8% accepted, rejected, or were hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine booster, respectively. However, only 13.2% declared receiving the booster dose. Additionally, while 58.2% of the respondents declared being relieved after primer vaccination, 11.4% among them declared that they regretted being vaccinated. The most common reasons for acceptance were experts’ recommendations (24.6%) and the belief that COVID-19 vaccine boosters were necessary and efficient, while rejection was mainly due to the belief that primer doses are sufficient (15.5%), or that vaccination in general is inefficient (8%). Males, older individuals, those with chronic comorbidities or a history of COVID-19 infection, non-healthcare workers, and those with low educational levels were associated with significantly higher odds for booster acceptance. Moreover, belief that booster doses were necessary and efficient, disagreeing with the notion that primer doses were not sufficient, experts’ recommendations, and the desire to travel abroad were significantly associated with higher odds of COVID-19 vaccine booster acceptance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Correlates and Interventions)
26 pages, 6257 KiB  
Article
Adjuvant Curdlan Contributes to Immunization against Cryptococcus gattii Infection in a Mouse Strain-Specific Manner
by Patrícia Kellen Martins Oliveira-Brito, Gabriela Yamazaki de Campos, Júlia Garcia Guimarães, Letícia Serafim da Costa, Edanielle Silva de Moura, Javier Emílio Lazo-Chica, Maria Cristina Roque-Barreira and Thiago Aparecido da Silva
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040620 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
The low efficacy and side effects associated with antifungal agents have highlighted the importance of developing immunotherapeutic approaches to treat Cryptococcus gattii infection. We developed an immunization strategy that uses selective Dectin-1 agonist as an adjuvant. BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice received curdlan or [...] Read more.
The low efficacy and side effects associated with antifungal agents have highlighted the importance of developing immunotherapeutic approaches to treat Cryptococcus gattii infection. We developed an immunization strategy that uses selective Dectin-1 agonist as an adjuvant. BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice received curdlan or β-glucan peptide (BGP) before immunization with heat-killed C. gattii, and the mice were infected with viable C. gattii on day 14 post immunization and euthanized 14 days after infection. Adjuvant curdlan restored pulmonary tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) levels, as induced by immunization with heat-killed C. gattii. The average area and relative frequency of C. gattii titan cells in the lungs of curdlan-treated BALB/c mice were reduced. However, this did not reduce the pulmonary fungal burden or decrease the i0,nflammatory infiltrate in the pulmonary parenchyma of BALB/c mice. Conversely, adjuvant curdlan induced high levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-10 and decreased the C. gattii burden in the lungs of C57BL/6 mice, which was not replicated in β-glucan peptide-treated mice. The adjuvant curdlan favors the control of C. gattii infection depending on the immune response profile of the mouse strain. This study will have implications for developing new immunotherapeutic approaches to treat C. gattii infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Adjuvants Research)
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7 pages, 237 KiB  
Brief Report
The Role of COVID-19 Vaccinal Status in Admitted Children during OMICRON Variant Circulation in Rio de Janeiro, City—Preliminary Report
by André Ricardo Araujo da Silva, Bernardo Rodrigues Rosa de Carvalho, Monica del Monaco Esteves, Cristiane Henriques Teixeira and Cristina Vieira Souza
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040619 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate COVID-19 vaccination status in admitted children in 2020–2021 and during the OMICRON variant circulation (2022), a period when children older than 12 years of age had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Design: An observational retrospective study. Patients with confirmed [...] Read more.
Objective: To evaluate COVID-19 vaccination status in admitted children in 2020–2021 and during the OMICRON variant circulation (2022), a period when children older than 12 years of age had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Design: An observational retrospective study. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 were compared in two different periods: 2020–2021 when adolescents aged 12–18 years had not received the complete COVID-19 vaccine, and 2022 when children older than 12 years had received the complete Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine scheme. Setting: Two pediatric hospitals in Rio de Janeiro city. Patients: Children aged < 18 years with confirmed COVID-19. Intervention: None. Main outcome: Vaccination status for COVID-19 on admission. Results: In total, 300 patients were admitted with confirmed COVID-19 (240 in 2020–2021 and 60 in 2022). The distribution of patients according to the age-groups was: 0–2 years (33.3% in 2020–2021 and 53.4% in 2022), 2–5 years (21.7% in 2020–2021 and 10% in 2022), 5–11 years (29.2% in 2020–2021 and 28.3% in 2022), and 12–18 years (15.8% in 2020–2021 and 8.3% in 2022) (p = 0.076). The median length of stay was six days in 2020–2021 and six days in 2022 (p = 0.423). We verified six deaths in the first analysis period and one death in the second one (p = 0.894). Of the 60 children admitted in 2022, 58 (96.7%) did not receive the complete COVID-19 vaccine scheme available. Conclusions: We verified in a “real-world condition” the ability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to prevent hospitalization in children over 12 years of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines against Infectious Diseases)
9 pages, 713 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Seroconversion after SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in Patients with Lung Cancer
by Ioannis P. Trontzas, Ioannis Vathiotis, Christina Economidou, Ioulia Petridou, Georgia Gomatou, Maria Grammoustianou, Ioannis Tsamis, Nikolaos Syrigos, Maximilian Anagnostakis, Eleni Fyta, Vissaria Sakka, Garyphalia Poulakou, Elias A. Kotteas and Ekaterini Syrigou
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040618 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2942
Abstract
Background: SARS-CoV-2 mortality rates are significantly higher in patients with lung cancer compared with the general population. However, little is known on their immunization status after vaccination. Methods: To evaluate the humoral response (seroconversion) of patients with lung cancer following vaccination [...] Read more.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 mortality rates are significantly higher in patients with lung cancer compared with the general population. However, little is known on their immunization status after vaccination. Methods: To evaluate the humoral response (seroconversion) of patients with lung cancer following vaccination against SARS-COV-2 (Group A), we obtained antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein both at baseline and at different time points after the first dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (two to three weeks [T1], six weeks ± one week [T2], 12 weeks ± three weeks [T3], and 24 weeks ± three weeks [T4]). Antibodies were also acquired from a control cohort of non-lung cancer patients (Group B) as well as a third cohort containing healthy controls (Group C) at all time points and at T4, respectively, to make comparisons with Group A. Analysis of antibody response at different time points, association with clinicopathologic parameters, and comparisons with control groups were performed. Results: A total of 125 patients with lung cancer were included in the analysis (96 males [74.3%], median age of 68 years [46–91]. All study participants received two vaccine doses (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, AZD1222). Analysis of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody titers showed minimal response at T1 (0.4 [0.4–48.6] IU/mL). Antibody response peaked at T2 (527.0 [0.4–2500] IU/mL) and declined over T3 (323.0 [0.4–2500] IU/mL) and T4 (141.0 [0.4–2500] IU/mL). Active smokers had lower antibody titers at T2 (p = 0.04), T3 (p = 0.04), and T4 (p < 0.0001) compared with former or never smokers. Peak antibody titers were not associated with any other clinicopathologic characteristic. No significant differences were observed compared with Group B. However, lung cancer patients exhibited significantly decreased antibody titers compared with Group C at T4 (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Lung cancer patients demonstrate sufficient antibody response six weeks after the first dose of vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 when vaccinated with two-dose regimens. Rapidly declining antibody titers six weeks after the first dose underline the need for a third dose three months later, in patients with lung cancer, and especially active smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncology in the Era of SARS-CoV-2)
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11 pages, 1211 KiB  
Review
Efficacy and Effectiveness of the Meningococcal Conjugate Group A Vaccine MenAfriVac® in Preventing Recurrent Meningitis Epidemics in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Simonetta Viviani
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040617 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2923
Abstract
For more than a century, epidemic meningococcal disease mainly caused by serogroup A Neisseria meningitidis has been an important public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this problem, an affordable meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccine, MenAfriVac®, was developed specifically for [...] Read more.
For more than a century, epidemic meningococcal disease mainly caused by serogroup A Neisseria meningitidis has been an important public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this problem, an affordable meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccine, MenAfriVac®, was developed specifically for populations in the African meningitis belt countries. MenAfriVac® was licensed based on safety and immunogenicity data for a population aged 1–29 years. In particular, the surrogate markers of clinical efficacy were considered to be the higher immunogenicity and the ability to prime immunological memory in infants and young children compared to a polysaccharide vaccine. Because of the magnitude of serogroup A meningitis epidemics and the high morbidity and mortality burden, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the MenAfriVac® deployment strategy, starting with mass vaccination campaigns for 1–29-year-olds to rapidly interrupt serogroup A person-to-person transmission and establish herd protection, followed by routine immunization of infants and toddlers to sustain protection and prevent epidemics. After licensure and WHO prequalification of MenAfriVac®, campaigns began in December 2010 in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. By the middle of 2011, it was clear that the vaccine was highly effective in preventing serogroup A carriage and disease. Post introduction meningitis surveillance revealed that serogroup A meningococcal disease had disappeared from all age groups, suggesting that robust herd immunity had been achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Efficacy and Vaccine Effectiveness)
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16 pages, 2719 KiB  
Article
The Immunomodulatory Functions of Various CpG Oligodeoxynucleotideson CEF Cells and H9N2 Subtype Avian Influenza Virus Vaccination
by Chenfei Li, Xiangyu Huang, Jiaxi Cai, Anran Lu, Shanshan Hao, Ze Zhang, Haifeng Sun and Xiuli Feng
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040616 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2186
Abstract
CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) present adjuvant activities for antigen proteins, which can induce humoral and cellular immune responses to antigens. However, the immunomodulatory functions of CpG ODNs with different sequences are very different. In this paper, six CpG ODNs with different sequences were [...] Read more.
CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) present adjuvant activities for antigen proteins, which can induce humoral and cellular immune responses to antigens. However, the immunomodulatory functions of CpG ODNs with different sequences are very different. In this paper, six CpG ODNs with different sequences were designed based on CpG2007 as a template. Through the screening of CEF cells in vitro, the stimulating activity of CpG ODNs was determined. Then, two selected CpG ODN sequence backbones were modified by substituting the oxygen with sulfur (S-CpG) and verifying the immune activity. Next, to prove the feasibility of S-CpG as an immune potentiator, two immune models with or without white oil adjuvant were prepared in 20-day-old chicken vaccinations. The screening experiment in vitro showed that the inducing roles of CpG ODN 4 and 5 could strongly stimulate various immune-related molecular expressions. Additionally, CpG ODN 4 and 5 with sulfation modification significantly induced various cytokines’ expressions. Furthermore, CpG ODN 4 and 5 induced the strongly humoral and cellular immune responses during vaccination, in which white oil, as an adjuvant, could significantly improve the immune effect of CpG ODN. These results provide an important experimental basis for exploring the structural characteristics and vaccine immunity of CpG ODN. Full article
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21 pages, 2289 KiB  
Article
Mycobacterium bovis Wild-Type BCG or Recombinant BCG Secreting Murine IL-18 (rBCG/IL-18) Strains in Driving Immune Responses in Immunocompetent or Immunosuppressed Mice
by Marek Fol, Marcin Włodarczyk, Magdalena Kowalewicz-Kulbat, Magdalena Druszczyńska, Krzysztof T. Krawczyk, Sebastian Wawrocki, Wiesława Rudnicka and Magdalena Chmiela
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040615 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2548
Abstract
Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections remain a global health problem in immunosuppressed patients. The effectiveness of BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin), an anti-tuberculosis vaccine, is unsatisfactory. Finding a new vaccine candidate is a priority. We compared numerous immune markers in BCG-susceptible C57BL/6 and BCG-resistant C3H mice who [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections remain a global health problem in immunosuppressed patients. The effectiveness of BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin), an anti-tuberculosis vaccine, is unsatisfactory. Finding a new vaccine candidate is a priority. We compared numerous immune markers in BCG-susceptible C57BL/6 and BCG-resistant C3H mice who had been injected with 0.9% NaCl (control) or with wild-type BCG or recombinant BCG secreting interleukin (IL)-18 (rBCG/IL-18) and in immunized mice who were immunocompromised with cyclophosphamide (CTX). The inoculation of rBCG/IL-18 in immunocompetent mice increased the percentage of bone marrow myeloblasts and promyelocytes, which were further elevated in the rBCG/IL-18/CTX-treated mice: C57BL/6 mice—3.0% and 11.4% (control) vs. 18.6% and 42.4%, respectively; C3H mice—1.1% and 7.7% (control) vs. 18.4% and 44.9%, respectively, p < 0.05. The bone marrow cells showed an increased mean fluorescence index (MFI) in the CD34 adhesion molecules: C57BL/6 mice—4.0 × 103 (control) vs. 6.2 × 103; C3H mice—4.0 × 103 (control) vs. 8.0 × 103, p < 0.05. Even in the CTX-treated mice, the rBCG/IL-18 mobilized macrophages for phagocytosis, C57BL/6 mice—4% (control) vs. 8%; C3H mice—2% (control) vs. 6%, and in immunocompetent mice, C57BL/6 induced the spleen homing of effector memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (TEM), 15% (control) vs. 28% and 8% (control) vs. 22%, respectively, p < 0.05. In conclusion, rBCG/IL-18 effectively induced selected immune determinants that were maintained even in immunocompromised mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunity and Vaccination against Bacterial Infections)
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28 pages, 1187 KiB  
Review
Surviving the Storm: Cytokine Biosignature in SARS-CoV-2 Severity Prediction
by Rahnuma Ahmad and Mainul Haque
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040614 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3358
Abstract
A significant part of the world population has been affected by the devastating SARS-CoV-2 infection. It has deleterious effects on mental and physical health and global economic conditions. Evidence suggests that the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection may result in immunopathology such as neutrophilia, [...] Read more.
A significant part of the world population has been affected by the devastating SARS-CoV-2 infection. It has deleterious effects on mental and physical health and global economic conditions. Evidence suggests that the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection may result in immunopathology such as neutrophilia, lymphopenia, decreased response of type I interferon, monocyte, and macrophage dysregulation. Even though most individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus suffer mild symptoms similar to flu, severe illness develops in some cases, including dysfunction of multiple organs. Excessive production of different inflammatory cytokines leads to a cytokine storm in COVID-19 infection. The large quantities of inflammatory cytokines trigger several inflammation pathways through tissue cell and immune cell receptors. Such mechanisms eventually lead to complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, intravascular coagulation, capillary leak syndrome, failure of multiple organs, and, in severe cases, death. Thus, to devise an effective management plan for SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is necessary to comprehend the start and pathways of signaling for the SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced cytokine storm. This article discusses the current findings of SARS-CoV-2 related to immunopathology, the different paths of signaling and other cytokines that result in a cytokine storm, and biomarkers that can act as early signs of warning for severe illness. A detailed understanding of the cytokine storm may aid in the development of effective means for controlling the disease’s immunopathology. In addition, noting the biomarkers and pathophysiology of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection as early warning signs can help prevent severe complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Innate Immune Responses against SARS-CoV-2)
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9 pages, 939 KiB  
Brief Report
Prolonged Protective Immunity Induced by Mild SARS-CoV-2 Infection of K18-hACE2 Mice
by Liat Bar-On, Moshe Aftalion, Efi Makdasi, David Gur, Ron Alcalay, Hila Cohen, Adi Beth-Din, Ronit Rosenfeld, Hagit Achdout, Erez Bar-Haim, Reut Falach, Theodor Chitlaru and Ofer Cohen
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040613 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1559
Abstract
Longevity of the immune response following viral exposure is an essential aspect of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mild SARS-CoV-2 infection of K18-hACE2 mice was implemented for evaluating the mounting and longevity of a specific memory immune response. We show that the infection of K18-hACE2 mice [...] Read more.
Longevity of the immune response following viral exposure is an essential aspect of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mild SARS-CoV-2 infection of K18-hACE2 mice was implemented for evaluating the mounting and longevity of a specific memory immune response. We show that the infection of K18-hACE2 mice induced robust humoral and cellular immunity (systemic and local), which persisted for at least six months. Virus-specific T cells and neutralizing antibody titers decreased over time, yet their levels were sufficient to provide sterile immunity against lethal rechallenge six months post-primary infection. The study substantiates the role of naturally induced immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection for preventing recurring morbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Pathogens-Host Immune Interface)
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16 pages, 2536 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomics of Acute DENV-Specific CD8+ T Cells Does Not Support Qualitative Differences as Drivers of Disease Severity
by Alba Grifoni, Hannah Voic, Esther Dawen Yu, Jose Mateus, Kai Mei Yan Fung, Alice Wang, Grégory Seumois, Aruna D. De Silva, Rashika Tennekon, Sunil Premawansa, Gayani Premawansa, Rashmi Tippalagama, Ananda Wijewickrama, Ashu Chawla, Jason Greenbaum, Bjoern Peters, Vijayanand Pandurangan, Daniela Weiskopf and Alessandro Sette
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040612 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
While several lines of evidence suggest a protective role of T cells against disease associated with Dengue virus (DENV) infection, their potential contribution to immunopathology in the acute phase of DENV infection remains controversial, and it has been hypothesized that the more severe [...] Read more.
While several lines of evidence suggest a protective role of T cells against disease associated with Dengue virus (DENV) infection, their potential contribution to immunopathology in the acute phase of DENV infection remains controversial, and it has been hypothesized that the more severe form of the disease (dengue hemorrhagic fever, DHF) is associated with altered T cell responses. To address this question, we determined the transcriptomic profiles of DENV-specific CD8+ T cells in a cohort of 40 hospitalized dengue patients with either a milder form of the disease (dengue fever, DF) or a more severe disease form (dengue hemorrhagic fever, DHF). We found multiple transcriptomic signatures, one associated with DENV-specific interferon-gamma responding cells and two other gene signatures, one specifically associated with the acute phase and the other with the early convalescent phase. Additionally, we found no differences in quantity and quality of DENV-specific CD8+ T cells based on disease severity. Taken together with previous findings that did not detect altered DENV-specific CD4 T cell responses, the current analysis argues against alteration in DENV-specific T cell responses as being a correlate of immunopathology. Full article
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6 pages, 1609 KiB  
Case Report
COVID Vaccine-Associated Myocarditis in Adolescent Siblings: Does It Run in the Family?
by Julia Moosmann, Thomas Gentles, Christopher Occleshaw and Bryan Mitchelson
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040611 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3907
Abstract
The development of myocarditis after receiving messenger RNA vaccination against COVID-19 is well documented, particularly in adolescent and young adult males. We report a case of vaccine-associated myocarditis in adolescent brothers following their second dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Mainz, Germany). [...] Read more.
The development of myocarditis after receiving messenger RNA vaccination against COVID-19 is well documented, particularly in adolescent and young adult males. We report a case of vaccine-associated myocarditis in adolescent brothers following their second dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Mainz, Germany). This report illustrates the need to better understand the mechanisms leading to myocarditis after mRNA vaccination. Full article
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14 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Arab Americans
by Mira H. Kheil, Deepti Jain, Jamil Jomaa, Brandon Askar, Yasmeen Alcodray, Shatha Wahbi, Salar Brikho, Ali Kadouh, Deanna Harajli, Zain N. Jawad, Ziad Fehmi, Malaak Elhage, Tala Tawil, Omar Fehmi, Suma J. Alzouhayli, Deema Ujayli, Noor Suleiman, Omar Kazziha, Rawan Saleh, Evi Abada, Anita Shallal, Seongho Kim, Vijaya Arun Kumar, Marcus Zervos, Michele L. Cote and Rouba Ali-Fehmiadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040610 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2494
Abstract
(1) Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have a significant impact on reducing morbidity and mortality from infection. However, vaccine hesitancy remains an obstacle in combating the pandemic. The Arab American (AA) population is understudied; thus, we aimed to explore COVID-19 attitudes within this [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have a significant impact on reducing morbidity and mortality from infection. However, vaccine hesitancy remains an obstacle in combating the pandemic. The Arab American (AA) population is understudied; thus, we aimed to explore COVID-19 attitudes within this community. (2) Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. An anonymous online survey was distributed to members of different AA associations and to the community through the snowball method. (3) Results: A total of 1746 participants completed the survey. A total of 92% of respondents reported having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 73% reported willingness to receive a booster, and 72% plan to give their children the vaccine. On multivariate analysis, respondents were more likely to be vaccine-hesitant if they were hesitant about receiving any vaccine in general. They were less likely to be vaccine-hesitant if they were immigrants, over the age of 40, up to date on their general vaccination and if they believed that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing an infection. The belief that all vaccines are effective at preventing diseases was also associated with lower hesitancy. (4) Conclusions: This sample of AAs have higher vaccination rates and are more willing to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 when compared to the rest of the population. However, a reemergence of hesitancy might be arising towards the boosters. Full article
10 pages, 382 KiB  
Article
High COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance among Eye Healthcare Workers in Uganda
by Juliet Otiti-Sengeri, Omaido Blair Andrew, Rebecca Claire Lusobya, Immaculate Atukunda, Caroline Nalukenge, Abubakar Kalinaki, John Mukisa, Damalie Nakanjako and Robert Colebunders
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040609 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2026
Abstract
Background: Protecting healthcare workers against COVID-19 disease is crucial, and COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective method to do so. Eye healthcare workers provide routine care in proximity, increasing infection risk, hence their need for full vaccination. This study determined COVID-19 vaccine acceptance [...] Read more.
Background: Protecting healthcare workers against COVID-19 disease is crucial, and COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective method to do so. Eye healthcare workers provide routine care in proximity, increasing infection risk, hence their need for full vaccination. This study determined COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and barriers to its uptake among eye healthcare workers practicing in Uganda. Methods: This was a cross-sectional online and telephone survey based on the health belief model (HBM), conducted in June–August 2021. A modified Poisson regression model with robust standard errors was used to determine the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Results: In total, 300 (85%) of the 357 eye healthcare workers participated in the study with mean age 43 ± 8 years and 182 (60.7%) were men. Overall, 97.6% (95% CI: 95.9–99.4) had accepted and/or were willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, 65.3% had received a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 97 (32.3%) reported the intention to accept the vaccine when it became available. Among the HBM constructs, high perceived susceptibility and high perceived benefits were significantly associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Conclusions: The acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine among eye healthcare workers in Uganda is very high. There is a dire need to make vaccines available to developing nations like Uganda. Full article
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28 pages, 2249 KiB  
Review
COVID-19 Vaccines: Current and Future Perspectives
by Luca Soraci, Fabrizia Lattanzio, Giulia Soraci, Maria Elsa Gambuzza, Claudio Pulvirenti, Annalisa Cozza, Andrea Corsonello, Filippo Luciani and Giovanni Rezza
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040608 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6266
Abstract
Currently available vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) are highly effective but not able to keep the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic completely under control. Alternative R&D strategies are required to induce a long-lasting immunological response and to reduce adverse events [...] Read more.
Currently available vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) are highly effective but not able to keep the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic completely under control. Alternative R&D strategies are required to induce a long-lasting immunological response and to reduce adverse events as well as to favor rapid development and large-scale production. Several technological platforms have been used to develop COVID-19 vaccines, including inactivated viruses, recombinant proteins, DNA- and RNA-based vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines, and virus-like particles. In general, mRNA vaccines, protein-based vaccines, and vectored vaccines have shown a high level of protection against COVID-19. However, the mutation-prone nature of the spike (S) protein affects long-lasting vaccine protection and its effectiveness, and vaccinated people can become infected with new variants, also showing high virus levels. In addition, adverse effects may occur, some of them related to the interaction of the S protein with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). Thus, there are some concerns that need to be addressed and challenges regarding logistic problems, such as strict storage at low temperatures for some vaccines. In this review, we discuss the limits of vaccines developed against COVID-19 and possible innovative approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Strategies for COVID-19)
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22 pages, 1334 KiB  
Review
Immunosenescence and Altered Vaccine Efficiency in Older Subjects: A Myth Difficult to Change
by Tamas Fulop, Anis Larbi, Graham Pawelec, Alan A. Cohen, Guillaume Provost, Abedelouahed Khalil, Guy Lacombe, Serafim Rodrigues, Mathieu Desroches, Katsuiku Hirokawa, Claudio Franceschi and Jacek M. Witkowski
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040607 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4989
Abstract
Organismal ageing is associated with many physiological changes, including differences in the immune system of most animals. These differences are often considered to be a key cause of age-associated diseases as well as decreased vaccine responses in humans. The most often cited vaccine [...] Read more.
Organismal ageing is associated with many physiological changes, including differences in the immune system of most animals. These differences are often considered to be a key cause of age-associated diseases as well as decreased vaccine responses in humans. The most often cited vaccine failure is seasonal influenza, but, while it is usually the case that the efficiency of this vaccine is lower in older than younger adults, this is not always true, and the reasons for the differential responses are manifold. Undoubtedly, changes in the innate and adaptive immune response with ageing are associated with failure to respond to the influenza vaccine, but the cause is unclear. Moreover, recent advances in vaccine formulations and adjuvants, as well as in our understanding of immune changes with ageing, have contributed to the development of vaccines, such as those against herpes zoster and SARS-CoV-2, that can protect against serious disease in older adults just as well as in younger people. In the present article, we discuss the reasons why it is a myth that vaccines inevitably protect less well in older individuals, and that vaccines represent one of the most powerful means to protect the health and ensure the quality of life of older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge about Vaccines and Vaccination in Older People)
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17 pages, 2949 KiB  
Review
Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Influenza Vaccination Intention: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review
by Gwyneth Kong, Nicole-Ann Lim, Yip Han Chin, Yvonne Peng Mei Ng and Zubair Amin
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040606 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 4396
Abstract
Poorer outcomes have been reported with COVID-19 and influenza coinfections. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, protection against influenza by vaccination is becoming increasingly important. This study examines how COVID-19 has influenced influenza vaccination intentions from a global perspective. A literature search was [...] Read more.
Poorer outcomes have been reported with COVID-19 and influenza coinfections. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, protection against influenza by vaccination is becoming increasingly important. This study examines how COVID-19 has influenced influenza vaccination intentions from a global perspective. A literature search was conducted on Embase, PubMed, and CNKI from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021 for articles reporting rates of influenza vaccination pre-COVID-19 (19/20 season), and intention and/or uptake of influenza vaccination post-COVID-19 (20/21 season). The changes in vaccination intention and reasons for changes were reported. Subgroup analyses were performed by region, gender, age, and occupation. Newcastle Ottawa Scale was used for quality assessment of the articles. Twenty-seven studies with 39,193 participants were included. Among 22 studies reporting intention to vaccinate in 20/21, there was increased intention to vaccinate (RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.32–1.69, p < 0.001) regardless of age, gender, and occupation. The remaining five studies reporting vaccination intention and uptake in 20/21 showed a similar increase (RR 1.68, 95%CI 1.20–2.36). Important determinants include historical vaccine acceptance, and perception of influenza severity and vaccine safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased intention to vaccinate against influenza internationally. The pandemic could be a window of opportunity to promote influenza vaccination and decrease vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Beliefs on Vaccines)
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10 pages, 820 KiB  
Article
Diminished Short- and Long-Term Antibody Response after SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in Hemodialysis Patients
by Louise Füessl, Tobias Lau, Isaac Lean, Sandra Hasmann, Bernhard Riedl, Florian M. Arend, Johanna Sorodoc-Otto, Daniela Soreth-Rieke, Marcell Toepfer, Simon Rau, Haxhrije Salihi-Halimi, Michael Paal, Wilke Beuthien, Norbert Thaller, Yana Suttmann, Gero von Gersdorff, Ron Regenauer, Anke von Bergwelt-Baildon, Daniel Teupser, Mathias Bruegel, Michael Fischereder and Ulf Schönermarckadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040605 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
Short-term studies have shown an attenuated immune response in hemodialysis patients after COVID-19-vaccination. The present study examines how antibody response is maintained after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in a large population of hemodialysis patients from six outpatient dialysis centers. We retrospectively assessed serum antibody [...] Read more.
Short-term studies have shown an attenuated immune response in hemodialysis patients after COVID-19-vaccination. The present study examines how antibody response is maintained after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in a large population of hemodialysis patients from six outpatient dialysis centers. We retrospectively assessed serum antibody levels against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid protein (electrochemiluminescence immunoassays, Roche Diagnostics) after COVID-19-vaccination in 298 hemodialysis and 103 non-dialysis patients (controls), comparing early and late antibody response. Compared to a non-dialysis cohort hemodialysis patients showed a favorable but profoundly lower early antibody response, which decreased substantially during follow-up measurement (median 6 months after vaccination). Significantly more hemodialysis patients had anti-SARS-CoV-2-S antibody titers below 100 U/mL (p < 0.001), which increased during follow-up from 23% to 45% but remained low in the control group (3% vs. 7%). In multivariate analysis, previous COVID-19 infections (p < 0.001) and female gender (p < 0.05) were significantly associated with higher early as well as late antibody vaccine response in hemodialysis patients, while there was a significant inverse correlation between patient age and systemic immunosuppression (p < 0.001). The early and late antibody responses were significantly higher in patients receiving vaccination after a SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to uninfected patients in both groups (p < 0.05). We also note that a higher titer after complete immunization positively affected late antibody response. The observation, that hemodialysis patients showed a significantly stronger decline of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination antibody titers within 6 months, compared to controls, supports the need for booster vaccinations to foster a stronger and more persistent antibody response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Post-COVID-19 Complications and Vaccination Efficacy)
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12 pages, 2720 KiB  
Article
Trends in HPV and HPV Vaccine Awareness among Gay and Bisexual Males in the U.S
by Ikechukwu Chidobem, Fan Tian, Esther Ogbuokiri, Francis Mgbodile, Chisom Mgbodile, Tahereh Orouji Jokar, Muhammad Ahsan Shah and Frantz Pierre-Louis
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040604 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States (US). It is often discussed within the context of women’s sexual health due to its association with cervical cancer. However, HPV is also associated with other cancers and conditions [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States (US). It is often discussed within the context of women’s sexual health due to its association with cervical cancer. However, HPV is also associated with other cancers and conditions which affect men. Gay and bisexual males (GBM) in the US have higher risks of HPV infection and a higher incidence of HPV-associated anal cancer than heterosexual males. In addition, GBM in the US have a higher prevalence of some high-risk strains of HPV than in other regions. HPV vaccination is highly effective at preventing HPV-associated cancers and genital warts. Several resources have been directed towards improving HPV awareness in the US over the past couple of years to improve vaccination rates. Given the low rates of HPV vaccination among GBM in the US, this study aimed to assess the trends in HPV and HPV vaccine awareness using a nationally representative sample of GBM. We found an overall increase in HPV and HPV vaccine awareness between 2017 and 2020. However, the sociodemographic differences in awareness levels highlight the need for more interventions to improve vaccination rates, especially in this high-risk population. Full article
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