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Vaccines, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 207 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Human lymphatic filariae employ immune evasion strategies to ensure their long-term survival in a host, which includes regulation of pattern recognition receptors, glycan mimicry, innate and adaptive immune response manipulation, effector immune cell apoptosis, and free radical neutralization. This results in a modified Th2 immune response with an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory milieu in the host. Deciphering the mechanisms of immune modulation by filarial proteins will provide the information that can be used to design new strategies, not only for the treatment of filariasis and other infections, but also for the treatment of immunopathological diseases. View this paper
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Brief Report
COVID-19 Vaccination and Mental Health Outcomes among Greek Adults in 2021: Preliminary Evidence
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081371 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Existing research on the association between COVID-19 vaccination and quantitatively measured mental health outcomes is scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey on a random sample of 1039 adult Greek citizens in June 2021. Among the participants, 39.6% were vaccinated with two doses, [...] Read more.
Existing research on the association between COVID-19 vaccination and quantitatively measured mental health outcomes is scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey on a random sample of 1039 adult Greek citizens in June 2021. Among the participants, 39.6% were vaccinated with two doses, 23.1% with one dose, 21.4% were planning to become vaccinated later, and 8.1% refused vaccination. Compared to those fully vaccinated, those against vaccination (“deniers”) and those who planned to do so later on (“not vaccinated yet”) had significantly higher scores across three stress, anxiety, and depression construct scales. Our findings suggest an association between COVID-19 vaccination status and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Review
The Cellular and Molecular Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081370 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 618
Abstract
In recent history, immunotherapy has become a viable cancer therapeutic option. However, over many years, its tenets have changed, and it now comprises a range of cancer-focused immunotherapies. Clinical trials are currently looking into monotherapies or combinations of medicines that include immune checkpoint [...] Read more.
In recent history, immunotherapy has become a viable cancer therapeutic option. However, over many years, its tenets have changed, and it now comprises a range of cancer-focused immunotherapies. Clinical trials are currently looking into monotherapies or combinations of medicines that include immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), CART cells, DNA vaccines targeting viruses, and adoptive cellular therapy. According to ongoing studies, the discipline should progress by incorporating patient-tailored immunotherapy, immune checkpoint blockers, other immunotherapeutic medications, hormone therapy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Despite significantly increasing morbidity, immunotherapy can intensify the therapeutic effect and enhance immune responses. The findings for the immunotherapy treatment of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) are compiled in this study, showing that is possible to investigate the current state of immunotherapy, covering new findings, PCa treatment techniques, and research perspectives in the field’s unceasing evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Immunology Focus: Cellular & Molecular Immunology)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Uptake during Pregnancy in Regione Lombardia, Italy: A Population-Based Study of 122,942 Pregnant Women
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081369 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in the European Union since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and Regione Lombardia (RL) has reported the largest number of cases in the country. This population-based retrospective study analyzed RL records of 122,942 [...] Read more.
Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in the European Union since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and Regione Lombardia (RL) has reported the largest number of cases in the country. This population-based retrospective study analyzed RL records of 122,942 pregnant women to describe SARS-CoV-2 vaccination uptake in the pregnant population, to compare pregnant women vaccine uptake vs. women of childbearing age and to evaluate the impact of vaccination status in pregnant women on admissions to intensive care units during 2021. Vaccination uptake according to citizenship and educational level and the comparison between pregnant and non-pregnant women was performed by Z test. A logistic regression was performed to compare age groups. Out of 122,942 pregnant women, 79.9% were vaccinated at the end of 2021. The vaccine uptake rate was significantly lower in pregnant versus non-pregnant women but increased after the issuing of official recommendations. Vaccine administration was significantly higher among pregnant women with Italian citizenship and with a high level of education in all trimesters. In conclusion, the role of official recommendations with explicit communication about the importance and safety of vaccination in pregnancy is critical to obtain trust and acceptance among pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination: Considerations for Public Health and Policy)
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Article
Streptococcus pneumoniae Causing Invasive Diseases in Children and Adults in Central Thailand, 2012–2016
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081368 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Longitudinal data regarding the serotype distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of S. pneumoniae-causing invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in developing countries are limited. Our aim was to monitor the antimicrobial susceptibility, serotype distribution, and serotype coverage rates of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) and [...] Read more.
Longitudinal data regarding the serotype distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of S. pneumoniae-causing invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in developing countries are limited. Our aim was to monitor the antimicrobial susceptibility, serotype distribution, and serotype coverage rates of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) and emerging non-vaccine serotypes (NVT) between 2012 and 2016 in central Thailand. Pneumococcal isolates from sterile specimens of patients, collected within a long-standing collaborative hospital network in central Thailand between 2012 and 2016, were studied. The pneumococcal serotypes included in the 15-valent PCV were identified by the quellung reaction, while the non-PCV15 serotypes were identified by multiplex PCR. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined by the microbroth dilution or disk diffusion method. Of the 276 pneumococcal isolates, 129 (46.7%) were from children aged ≤5 years. Only 9.0% of patients with available data received the PCV prior to the onset of the IPD. The most common vaccine serotypes were 6B (17.4%), 19A (13.0%), and 14 (11.2%), respectively. Non-PCV15 serotypes were detected in 27.9%; the most common serotypes were 15B/C (5.1%), 15A/F (4.0%), and 23A (3.6%), respectively. The serotype coverage rates of PCV10 in children aged ≤5 years was 55.8%, and 53.3% across all ages. PCV13 provided similar coverage rates to that of PCV15, 71.3% in children aged ≤5 years, and 72.1% across all ages. High susceptibilities to cefotaxime (94.6%), ofloxacin (98.2%), linezolid (99.6%), and vancomycin (100.0%) were observed, while the susceptibility to erythromycin (50.0%), TMP-SMZ (41.3%), and tetracycline (27.2%) were low. The susceptibilities to penicillin, meropenem, and clindamycin were 85.9%, 85.9%, and 84.8%, respectively. Serotype 19A was associated with a lower susceptibility than the non-19A isolates for penicillin (75.0% vs. 87.5%, p = 0.045), meropenem (52.8% vs. 90.8%, p < 0.001), erythromycin (33.3% vs. 53.8%, p = 0.022), and TMP-SMZ (16.7% vs. 45.0%, p = 0.001). Although the majority of the pneumococcal serotypes causing IPD in central Thailand were covered by the currently available PCVs, 25% of IPD were caused by NVT. Several emerging NVT identified were 15B/C, 15A/F, and 23A. The high rates of resistance to penicillin, meropenem, erythromycin, TMP-SMZ, and tetracycline observed is a major concern. Serotype 19A was associated with lower antimicrobial susceptibilities in comparison to the non-19A serotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines against Infectious Diseases)
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Review
Current Vaccine Platforms in Enhancing T-Cell Response
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081367 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
The induction of T cell-mediated immunity is crucial in vaccine development. The most effective vaccine is likely to employ both cellular and humoral immune responses. The efficacy of a vaccine depends on T cells activated by antigen-presenting cells. T cells also play a [...] Read more.
The induction of T cell-mediated immunity is crucial in vaccine development. The most effective vaccine is likely to employ both cellular and humoral immune responses. The efficacy of a vaccine depends on T cells activated by antigen-presenting cells. T cells also play a critical role in the duration and cross-reactivity of vaccines. Moreover, pre-existing T-cell immunity is associated with a decreased severity of infectious diseases. Many technical and delivery platforms have been designed to induce T cell-mediated vaccine immunity. The immunogenicity of vaccines is enhanced by controlling the kinetics and targeted delivery. Viral vectors are attractive tools that enable the intracellular expression of foreign antigens and induce robust immunity. However, it is necessary to select an appropriate viral vector considering the existing anti-vector immunity that impairs vaccine efficacy. mRNA vaccines have the advantage of rapid and low-cost manufacturing and have been approved for clinical use as COVID-19 vaccines for the first time. mRNA modification and nanomaterial encapsulation can help address mRNA instability and translation efficacy. This review summarizes the T cell responses of vaccines against various infectious diseases based on vaccine technologies and delivery platforms and discusses the future directions of these cutting-edge platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B and T Cell-Mediated Immunity 2.0)
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Article
Association of Reactogenicity with Immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081366 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 368
Abstract
The aim of our study was to determine whether local and systemic reactions following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are predictive of immunogenicity in patients undergoing hemodialysis. We used an established questionnaire to survey 206 hemodialysis patients without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection regarding solicited local (pain, redness, [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to determine whether local and systemic reactions following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are predictive of immunogenicity in patients undergoing hemodialysis. We used an established questionnaire to survey 206 hemodialysis patients without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection regarding solicited local (pain, redness, and swelling) and systemic reactions (fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever) within 7 days after receiving 1 dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. The primary outcome was seroconversion of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (≥50 AU/mL) at 28 days after vaccination. Local and systemic reactions were reported by 80 (38.8%) and 119 (57.8%) patients, respectively. A total of 138 (67.0%) patients developed an antibody response. Responders were younger, had a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease and use of immunosuppressants, and had a higher body mass index and lymphocyte count. In addition, a greater percentage of responders than non-responders reported reactogenicity. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, fever (OR 2.70 [95% CI 1.12–6.50]) and total symptom score (OR 1.33 [95% CI, 1.05–1.68], per one increase) remained strongly associated with a greater humoral response. In conclusion, higher reactogenicity may identify hemodialysis patients who are more responsive to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody Response of Vaccines to SARS-CoV-2)
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Article
Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike Antibody Titers and Neutralizing Antibodies in Vaccinated Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081365 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A serological test is used to assess the efficacy of vaccination. It has been reported that anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and neutralizing antibody (Ab) levels are lower following vaccination in [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A serological test is used to assess the efficacy of vaccination. It has been reported that anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and neutralizing antibody (Ab) levels are lower following vaccination in patients with rheumatic disease. Here, we investigated anti-SARS-CoV-2 S and neutralizing Abs in vaccinated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Japan. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S and neutralizing Abs were quantified in 101 RA patients and 117 controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S Ab levels were lower in RA patients than both earlier after vaccination in controls (mean RA 324.1 ± 591.8 SDM vs. control 1216.6 ± 854.4 [U/mL], p < 0.0001) and later after vaccination (324.1 ± 591.8 vs. 582.0 ± 415.6 [U/mL], p = 0.0002). The interval between vaccination of the RA patients and serum collection was longer than for controls early after vaccination (142.1 ± 31.6 vs. 98.3 ± 11.2 [days], p < 0.0001), but shorter than the later sample from the controls (142.1 ± 31.6 vs. 257.3 ± 11.2 [days], p < 0.0001). Importantly, anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing Ab titers in RA patients were higher than in either early or later control samples (10.7 ± 4.9 vs. 8.6 ± 6.6 [%], p = 0.0072, and 10.7 ± 4.9 vs. 3.1 ± 3.7 [%], p < 0.0001, respectively). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S Ab titers in vaccinated RA patients were lower than in controls, but they were influenced by other clinical manifestations. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing Ab levels were independently increased in RA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Post-COVID-19 Complications and Vaccination Efficacy)
Article
Rapid Implementation of a Community–Academic Partnership Model to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine Equity within Racially and Ethnically Minoritized Communities
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1364; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081364 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has highlighted inequities in mortalities and associated illnesses among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino individuals. Immunization against COVID-19 is critical to ending the pandemic, especially within racial and ethnically minoritized communities. However, vaccine hesitancy and institutional mistrust in these communities, [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has highlighted inequities in mortalities and associated illnesses among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino individuals. Immunization against COVID-19 is critical to ending the pandemic, especially within racial and ethnically minoritized communities. However, vaccine hesitancy and institutional mistrust in these communities, resulting from decades of mistreatment, structural racism, and barriers to vaccination access, have translated into low vaccination uptake. Trustworthy relationships with healthcare professionals and partnerships with faith and community leaders are critical to increasing vaccination rates within these minoritized communities. Loma Linda University researchers collaborated with local faith and community organizations in San Bernardino County, CA, to rapidly implement a three-tiered approach to increase the vaccination rates within non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino communities. This community–academic partnership model provided over 1700 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine within these vaccine-hesitant, targeted minoritized communities. As over 100,000 individuals are diagnosed with COVID-19 daily and updated vaccines targeting variants of the Omicron strain are expected to rollout in the coming months, the development of sustainable programs aimed at increasing vaccine uptake within vulnerable communities are of the utmost importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Correlates and Interventions)
Communication
Pre-Existing Comorbidities Diminish the Likelihood of Seropositivity after SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081363 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 460
Abstract
Background: The impact of chronic health conditions (CHCs) on serostatus post-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination is unknown. Methods: We assessed serostatus post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among fully vaccinated adult residents of Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA, from April 2021 to August 2021. Serostatus [...] Read more.
Background: The impact of chronic health conditions (CHCs) on serostatus post-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination is unknown. Methods: We assessed serostatus post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among fully vaccinated adult residents of Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA, from April 2021 to August 2021. Serostatus was determined by qualitative analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific Spike IgG antibodies via enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) in peripheral blood samples. Results: Of the 5178 fully vaccinated participants, 51 were seronegative and 5127 were seropositive. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and autoimmune disease showed the highest association with negative serostatus in fully vaccinated individuals. The absence of any CHC was strongly associated with positive serostatus. The risk of negative serostatus increased as the total number of pre-existing CHCs increased. Similarly, the use of two or more CHC-related medications was associated with seronegative status. Conclusions: The presence of any CHC, especially CKD or autoimmune disease, increased the likelihood of seronegative status among individuals who were fully vaccinated to SAR-CoV-2. This risk increased with a concurrent increase in number of comorbidities, especially with multiple medications. The absence of any CHC was protective and increased the likelihood of a positive serological response. These results will help develop appropriate guidelines for booster doses and targeted vaccination programs. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness against Omicron Variant among Underage Subjects: The Veneto Region’s Experience
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081362 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Even if most of the complications due to COVID-19 are observed in the elderly, in Italy the impact of COVID-19 among young people has not been negligible. Furthermore, their contribution to SARS-CoV-2 circulation is still unclear. These reasons have driven policy makers to [...] Read more.
Even if most of the complications due to COVID-19 are observed in the elderly, in Italy the impact of COVID-19 among young people has not been negligible. Furthermore, their contribution to SARS-CoV-2 circulation is still unclear. These reasons have driven policy makers to involve subjects aged 5 to 17 years in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. However, the trade-off of vaccinating this age-group should be further investigated, especially in view of the rise of new immunologically evasive variants of concern (VOCs). We used regional databases to retrospectively estimate vaccine effectiveness over time of each approved vaccination schedule among children (5–11) and adolescents (12–17). Our findings suggest that COVID-19 vaccines were highly effective and their protection levels lasted longer during a period of Delta variant predominance, whereas they offered just mild to moderate levels of protection—apparently affected by a rapid waning effect—in a period of Omicron variant predominance. Considering these results, it is plausible to evaluate a reformulation of possible future COVID-19 vaccination campaigns among underage subjects. However, effectiveness against serious complications due to COVID-19, as well as indirect benefits of underage vaccinations, should first be addressed. Furthermore, vaccine effectiveness should be kept monitored, as new VOCs may arise, but also new adapted vaccines may start being administered. Full article
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Article
Is There Any Correlation between Baseline Serum Cortisol Levels and Disease Severity in PCR-Positive COVID-19 Patients with and without Diabetes Mellitus?
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081361 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 has caused a pandemic and is associated with significant mortality. The pathophysiology of COVID-19, affecting many organs and systems, is still being investigated. The hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and possibly adrenal glands are the targets of SARS-CoV-2 because of its angiotensin-converting enzyme [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 has caused a pandemic and is associated with significant mortality. The pathophysiology of COVID-19, affecting many organs and systems, is still being investigated. The hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and possibly adrenal glands are the targets of SARS-CoV-2 because of its angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) receptors expression. Hypocortisolemia can be seen in the postinfection period. COVID-19 infection tends to be severe in diabetic patients due to immune dysfunction. In this study, our aim was to investigate the relationship between basal cortisol levels and the course of COVID-19 infection in diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Methods: Our retrospective study included 311 PCR-positive COVID-19 patients over the age of 18 who were hospitalized in Ankara City Hospital Infectious Diseases Department or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) between 15 March 2020 and 15 May 2020. Serum basal cortisol, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), HbA1c values, and diabetes history were recorded within the first 24 h of hospitalization. The presence of pulmonary involvement was noted from the patients’ imaging records. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, patients with chronic liver disease or chronic kidney disease, and patients who were already using steroids or had started COVID-19 infection treatment within the 72 h before blood collection were excluded from the study. Results: Of the 311 patients, 100 had Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D), while 211 did not. The age, serum basal cortisol, and glucose levels of the patients with T2D (64.51 ± 12.29, 19.5 ± 13.12, and 143.5 (77–345)) were higher than those of the patients without T2D (46.67 ± 16.38, 15.26 ± 8.75, and 96 (65–202)), and the differences were statistically significant (p = 0.004, p = 0.004, and p < 0.001, respectively). The basal cortisol values of the ICU patients (27.89 (13.91–75)) were significantly higher than those of the ward patients (13.68 (1.48–51.93)) and patients who were transferred to the ICU from the ward due to worsening conditions (19.28 (7.74–55.21)) (p < 0.001 and p = 0.007, respectively). The factors affecting ICU admission were determined to be age, T2D history, basal cortisol, and elevation in FPG using univariate logistic regression analysis. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, age, basal cortisol level, and infiltrative involvement in thorax CT were determined to be the risk factors affecting intensive care admission. Conclusion: High basal cortisol levels in patients with T2D may predict the severity of COVID-19 infection or mortality. Although high basal cortisol levels are among the risk factors affecting ICU admission, patients with COVID-19 should also be evaluated in terms of clinical and laboratory findings and relative adrenal insufficiency. Full article
Article
An Economic Evaluation of the Adjuvanted Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine Compared with Standard-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine in the Spanish Older Adult Population
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081360 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Standard-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) are designed to provide protection against all four influenza strains. Adjuvanted QIV (aQIV), indicated for individuals aged 65+ years, combines MF59® adjuvant (an oil-in-water emulsion of squalene oil) with a standard dose of antigen, and is designed [...] Read more.
Standard-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) are designed to provide protection against all four influenza strains. Adjuvanted QIV (aQIV), indicated for individuals aged 65+ years, combines MF59® adjuvant (an oil-in-water emulsion of squalene oil) with a standard dose of antigen, and is designed to produce stronger and longer immune response, especially in the elderly where immunosenescence reduces vaccine effectiveness. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of aQIV vs. egg-based standard-dose QIV (QIVe) in the elderly population, from the payer and societal perspective in Spain. A dynamic transmission model, which accounts for herd protection, was used to predict the number of medically attended infections in Spain. A decision tree structure was used to forecast influenza-related costs and benefits. Influenza-related probabilities of outpatient visit, hospitalization, work absenteeism, mortality, and associated utilities and costs were extracted from Spanish and European published literature. Relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) was sourced from two different meta-analyses: the first meta-analysis was informed by laboratory-confirmed influenza studies only, resulting in a rVE = 34.6% (CI95% 2–66%) in favor of aQIV; the second meta-analysis included real world evidence influenza-related medical encounters outcomes, resulting in a rVE = 13.9% (CI95% 4.2–23.5%) in benefit of aQIV. All costs were expressed in 2021 euros. Results indicate that replacing QIVe with aQIV in the Spanish elderly population would prevent on average 43,664 influenza complicated cases, 1111 hospitalizations, and 569 deaths (with a rVE = 34.6%) or 19,104 influenza complicated cases, 486 hospitalizations, and 252 deaths (with a rVE = 13.9%). When the rVE of aQIV vs. QIVe is 34.6%, the incremental cost per quality adjusted life years (QALY) gained was €2240 from the payer; from the societal perspective, aQIV was cost saving compared with QIVe. If the rVE was 13.9%, the incremental cost per QALY was €6694 and €3936 from the payer and societal perspective, respectively. Sensitivity analyses validated the robustness of these findings. Results indicate that replacing QIVe with aQIV in the Spanish elderly population is a cost-effective strategy for the Spanish healthcare system. Full article
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Protocol
From Clinical Specimen to Whole Genome Sequencing of A(H3N2) Influenza Viruses: A Fast and Reliable High-Throughput Protocol
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081359 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 376
Abstract
(1) Background: Over the last few years, there has been growing interest in the whole genome sequencing (WGS) of rapidly mutating pathogens, such as influenza viruses (IVs), which has led us to carry out in-depth studies on viral evolution in both research and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Over the last few years, there has been growing interest in the whole genome sequencing (WGS) of rapidly mutating pathogens, such as influenza viruses (IVs), which has led us to carry out in-depth studies on viral evolution in both research and diagnostic settings. We aimed at describing and determining the validity of a WGS protocol that can obtain the complete genome sequence of A(H3N2) IVs directly from clinical specimens. (2) Methods: RNA was extracted from 80 A(H3N2)-positive respiratory specimens. A one-step RT-PCR assay, based on the use of a single set of specific primers, was used to retro-transcribe and amplify the entire IV type A genome in a single reaction, thus avoiding additional enrichment approaches and host genome removal treatments. Purified DNA was quantified; genomic libraries were prepared and sequenced by using Illumina MiSeq platform. The obtained reads were evaluated for sequence quality and read-pair length. (3) Results: All of the study specimens were successfully amplified, and the purified DNA concentration proved to be suitable for NGS (at least 0.2 ng/µL). An acceptable coverage depth for all eight genes of influenza A(H3N2) virus was obtained for 90% (72/80) of the clinical samples with viral loads >105 genome copies/mL. The mean depth of sequencing ranged from 105 to 200 reads per position, with the majority of the mean depth values being above 103 reads per position. The total turnaround time per set of 20 samples was four working days, including sequence analysis. (4) Conclusions: This fast and reliable high-throughput sequencing protocol should be used for influenza surveillance and outbreak investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Surveillance, Vaccines and Vaccination Strategies)
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Article
Simultaneous Protective Immune Responses of Ducks against Duck Plague and Fowl Cholera by Recombinant Duck Enteritis Virus Vector Expressing Pasteurella multocida OmpH Gene
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081358 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Duck enteritis virus and Pasteurella multocida are major duck pathogens that induce duck plague and fowl cholera, respectively, in ducks and other waterfowl populations, leading to high levels of morbidity and mortality. Immunization with live attenuated DEV vaccine containing P. multocida outer membrane [...] Read more.
Duck enteritis virus and Pasteurella multocida are major duck pathogens that induce duck plague and fowl cholera, respectively, in ducks and other waterfowl populations, leading to high levels of morbidity and mortality. Immunization with live attenuated DEV vaccine containing P. multocida outer membrane protein H (OmpH) can provide the most effective protection against these two infectious diseases in ducks. We have recently reported the construction of recombinant DEV expressing P. multocida ompH gene using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing strategy with the goal of using it as a bivalent vaccine that can simultaneously protect against both infections. Here we describe the findings of our investigation into the systemic immune responses, potency and clinical protection induced by the two recombinant DEV-ompH vaccine constructs, where one copy each of the ompH gene was inserted into the DEV genome at the UL55-LORF11 and UL44-44.5 intergenic regions, respectively. Our study demonstrated that the insertion of the ompH gene exerted no adverse effect on the DEV parental virus. Moreover, ducklings immunized with the rDEV-ompH-UL55 and rDEV-ompH-UL44 vaccines induced promising levels of P. multocida OmpH-specific as well as DEV-specific antibodies and were completely protected from both diseases. Analysis of the humoral and cellular immunity confirmed the immunogenicity of both recombinant vaccines, which provided strong immune responses against DEV and P. multocida. This study not only provides insights into understanding the immune responses of ducks to recombinant DEV-ompH vaccines but also demonstrates the potential for simultaneous prevention of viral and bacterial infections using viral vectors expressing bacterial immunogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology and Vaccines against Avian Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Young Age, Female Sex, and No Comorbidities Are Risk Factors for Adverse Reactions after the Third Dose of BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: A Prospective Cohort Study in Japan
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081357 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Background: This study compared the adverse events (AEs) of the second and third doses of BNT162b2, as well as investigated the impact of vaccine recipients’ background and vaccination interval on the AEs of the third dose. Methods: We conducted a questionnaire survey of [...] Read more.
Background: This study compared the adverse events (AEs) of the second and third doses of BNT162b2, as well as investigated the impact of vaccine recipients’ background and vaccination interval on the AEs of the third dose. Methods: We conducted a questionnaire survey of AEs among health care workers at Osaka University Dental Hospital. Chi-square tests were performed to compare AEs to the administration of second and third vaccine doses. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors influencing the presence of AEs using age, sex, comorbidities, and the vaccination interval. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was calculated to investigate the correlation between age, vaccination interval, and severity of each AE. Results: The third dose of BNT162b2 was associated with significantly more frequent or milder AEs than the second dose. Logistic regression analyses detected significant differences in six items of AEs by age, three by sex, two by comorbidities, and zero by vaccination interval. Consistently, the risk of AEs was greater among younger persons, females, and those without comorbidities. Significant negative correlations were detected between age and vaccination interval, and between age and the severity of most AEs. Conclusions: Young, female, and having no comorbidities are risk factors for AEs after the third dose of BNT162b2, while vaccination interval is not. Full article
Review
Global Prevalence and Potential Influencing Factors of COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy: A Meta-Analysis
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081356 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
Countries worldwide have deployed mass COVID-19 vaccination drives, but there are people who are hesitant to receive the vaccine. Studies assessing the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy are inconclusive. This study aimed to assess the global prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and [...] Read more.
Countries worldwide have deployed mass COVID-19 vaccination drives, but there are people who are hesitant to receive the vaccine. Studies assessing the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy are inconclusive. This study aimed to assess the global prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and determine the potential factors associated with such hesitancy. We performed an organized search for relevant articles in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Extraction of the required information was performed for each study. A single-arm meta-analysis was performed to determine the global prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy; the potential factors related to vaccine hesitancy were analyzed using a Z-test. A total of 56 articles were included in our analysis. We found that the global prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy was 25%. Being a woman, being a 50-year-old or younger, being single, being unemployed, living in a household with five or more individuals, having an educational attainment lower than an undergraduate degree, having a non-healthcare-related job and considering COVID-19 vaccines to be unsafe were associated with a higher risk of vaccination hesitancy. In contrast, living with children at home, maintaining physical distancing norms, having ever tested for COVID-19, and having a history of influenza vaccination in the past few years were associated with a lower risk of hesitancy to COVID-19 vaccination. Our study provides valuable information on COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy, and we recommend special interventions in the sub-populations with increased risk to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines and Society)
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Article
The Role of Psychological Factors and Vaccine Conspiracy Beliefs in Influenza Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake among Jordanian Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1355; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081355 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
Vaccination to prevent influenza virus infection and to lessen its severity is recommended among healthcare workers (HCWs). Health professionals have a higher risk of exposure to viruses and could transmit the influenza virus to vulnerable patients who are prone to severe disease and [...] Read more.
Vaccination to prevent influenza virus infection and to lessen its severity is recommended among healthcare workers (HCWs). Health professionals have a higher risk of exposure to viruses and could transmit the influenza virus to vulnerable patients who are prone to severe disease and mortality. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the levels of influenza vaccine acceptance and uptake as well as its determinants, among Jordanian HCWs over the last influenza season of 2021/2022. This study was based on a self-administered electronic survey that was distributed in March 2022. Psychological determinants of influenza vaccine acceptance and vaccine conspiracy beliefs were assessed using the previously validated 5C scale questionnaire (confidence, complacency, constraints, calculation and collective responsibility) and the vaccine conspiracy beliefs scale. The study sample comprised a total of 1218 HCWs: nurses (n = 412, 33.8%), physicians (n = 367, 30.1%), medical technicians (n = 182, 14.9%), pharmacists (n = 161, 13.2%) and dentists (n = 87, 7.1%), among others. About two-thirds of the study sample expressed willingness to receive influenza vaccination if provided free of charge (n = 807, 66.3%), whereas less than one-third were willing to pay for the vaccine (n = 388, 31.9%). The self-reported uptake of the influenza vaccine in the last influenza season was 62.8%. The following factors were significantly associated with higher acceptance of influenza vaccination if provided freely, as opposed to vaccine hesitancy/rejection: male sex; physicians and dentists among HCW categories; higher confidence and collective responsibility; and lower complacency, constraints and calculation. Higher influenza vaccine uptake was significantly correlated with nurses and physicians among HCW categories, older age, a higher monthly income, higher confidence and collective responsibility, lower complacency and constraints and lower embrace of general vaccine conspiracy beliefs. The results of the current study can provide helpful clues to improve influenza vaccine coverage among HCWs in Jordan. Consequently, this can help to protect vulnerable patient groups and reserve valuable resources in healthcare settings. Psychological determinants appeared to be the most significant factors for vaccine acceptance and uptake, whereas the embrace of general vaccine conspiracy beliefs was associated with lower rates of influenza vaccine uptake, which should be considered in educational and interventional measures aiming to promote influenza vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight in Vaccination and Public Health)
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Article
Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician Attitudes and Experiences with Technician-Administered Immunizations
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081354 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 315
Abstract
In response to the increased demand for healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act amendments and guidance authorized pharmacy technicians, who are not otherwise authorized in their state, to administer the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [...] Read more.
In response to the increased demand for healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act amendments and guidance authorized pharmacy technicians, who are not otherwise authorized in their state, to administer the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)-recommended immunizations and COVID-19 vaccines under pharmacist order. Subsequently, many pharmacies nationwide have expanded technician duties to include immunization administration. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the attitudes and experiences associated with technician-administered immunizations among community pharmacists and technicians. The cross-sectional study evaluated the primary endpoint through the completion of anonymous surveys containing peer-reviewed questionnaires. Pharmacy technicians and their supervising pharmacists were selected to complete the survey at a grocery chain’s pharmacies located in five states across the Northeast if they completed the immunization program and administered at least one immunization. Surveys were drafted using Microsoft Forms and results were analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Chi-squared tests were utilized for comparing categorical variables between groups. A total of 268 survey responses were obtained; 171 responses came from pharmacists and 97 responses came from immunization-certified technicians. Most pharmacists and pharmacy technicians responded that technicians could safely administer vaccines (87.1% and 96.9%, respectively) and competently process and bill vaccine services (90.6% and 99.0%, respectively). In addition, both participant populations responded that technician-administered vaccines improved the workflow of vaccine services (76.6% and 82.5%, respectively) without increasing the likelihood of vaccine errors (56.1% and 78.3%, respectively). When compared with technicians, fewer pharmacists were confident in a technician’s ability to competently prepare vaccines (63.7% vs. 91.8%; p < 0.001). A statistically significant association was observed between responses regarding an efficient process for immunizing patients and the likelihood of technician vaccination errors (χ2 = 14.36; p < 0.01). Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians responded that technicians competently administer immunizations and should participate in more patient-care duties. Multiple states are enacting legislation to include technician vaccine administration as a permanent component of their scope of practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Strategies for COVID-19)
Article
Time-Varying Effect of Hybrid Immunity on the Risk of Breakthrough Infection after Booster Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine: The MOSAICO Study
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081353 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
This longitudinal observational study investigated the risk of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection up to 6 months after a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in infection-naïve vs. previously infected healthcare workers (HCWs), and whether this difference varied over time. A Cox proportional hazard [...] Read more.
This longitudinal observational study investigated the risk of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection up to 6 months after a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in infection-naïve vs. previously infected healthcare workers (HCWs), and whether this difference varied over time. A Cox proportional hazard regression model with Aalen’s additive analysis was fitted to examine the association between the risk of infections and predictor variables. Overall, we observed an incidence rate of 2.5 cases per 1000 person-days (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0–3.0), which dropped at 0.8 per 1000 person-days (95% CI 0.3–2.0) in recipients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. The fitted analysis indicated an adjusted hazard ratio of 0.32 (95% CI 0.13–0.80; p-value = 0.01) for those with hybrid immunity with a slope that became steeply negative roughly starting from day 90. No difference was seen according to participants’ smoking habits. Characteristics of infected HCWs were also described. Our study quantifies the time-varying effects of vaccine-induced and hybrid immunity after the booster dose (during the Omicron variant predominance in Italy) and observed that the protection waned more rapidly in infection-naïve recipients starting from the third month. The results add important evidence that can be used to inform COVID-19 vaccination strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Post-COVID-19 Complications and Vaccination Efficacy)
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Article
Genome Similarities between Human-Derived and Mink-Derived SARS-CoV-2 Make Mink a Potential Reservoir of the Virus
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1352; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081352 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 has RNA as the genome, which makes the virus more prone to mutations. Occasionally, mutations help a virus to cross the species barrier. SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans and minks (Neovison vison) are examples of zoonotic spillover. Many studies on the [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 has RNA as the genome, which makes the virus more prone to mutations. Occasionally, mutations help a virus to cross the species barrier. SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans and minks (Neovison vison) are examples of zoonotic spillover. Many studies on the mutational analysis of human-derived SARS-CoV-2 have been published, but insight into the mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 genome of mutations is still required. Here, we performed a mutation analysis of the mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences. We analyzed all available full-length mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences on GISAID (214 genome sequences from the Netherlands and 133 genome sequences from Denmark). We found a striking resemblance between human-derived and mink-derived SARS-CoV-2. Our study showed that mutation patterns in the SARS-CoV-2 genome samples from the Netherlands and Denmark were different. Out of the 201 mutations we found, only 13 mutations were shared by the Netherlands’ and Denmark’s mink-derived samples. We found that six mutations were prevalent in the mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 genomes, and these six mutations are also known to be prevalent in human-derived SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our study reveals that the G27948T mutation in SARS-CoV-2 leads to truncation of ORF8, which was also reported in human-derived SARS-CoV-2, thus indicating that the virus can replicate without the full-length ORF8. These resemblances between mink-derived and human-derived SARS-CoV-2 enable the virus to cross the species barrier and suggest mink a potential reservoir for the virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Variant-Based Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Viral Diseases)
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Correction
Correction: Zhang et al. Anti-Staphylococcus aureus Single-Chain Fragment Variables Play a Protective Anti-Inflammatory Role In Vitro and In Vivo. Vaccines 2021, 9, 1300
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081351 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 239
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Its Determinants among Migrants in Germany—Results of a Cross-Sectional Study
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081350 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Vaccinations are a core element of infection control. Migrants have been reported to have low vaccination rates for many infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Still, determinants of migrants’ uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations are not sufficiently clear. The present study addresses this gap and examines [...] Read more.
Vaccinations are a core element of infection control. Migrants have been reported to have low vaccination rates for many infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Still, determinants of migrants’ uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations are not sufficiently clear. The present study addresses this gap and examines the respective influence of three potential determinants: barriers to access, attitude towards vaccinations in general, and towards COVID-19 vaccines. The study uses a cross-sectional online survey among migrants in Germany. The questionnaire assessed the aforementioned determinants using standardized tools. Information on 204 individuals was available. The vaccination rate in the sample was 80%. Vaccinated as compared to unvaccinated respondents reported more often the absence of financial barriers (71% (95%CI: 64–73%) vs. 45% (95%CI: 28–63%)), short waiting times (51% (95%CI: 43–59%) vs. 22% (95%CI: 5–38%)), and the presence of a vaccination center close-by (91.5% (95%CI: 87–96%) vs. 69.7% (95%CI: 54–85%)). Concerning COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, the majority of respondents (68%) agreed that the vaccine is important. Unvaccinated respondents more often feared side effects, were convinced that the vaccine is not safe, and assumed that COVID-19 is not dangerous. Correspondingly, acceptance of vaccinations in general was higher among vaccinated respondents. In line with findings from previous studies, our survey found that all three determinants seem to influence migrants’ vaccination status while their overall vaccination rate was comparable to the general population. Hence, migration background per se does not sufficiently explain vaccine acceptance and further research is needed to identify subgroups of migrants that should be specifically addressed to increase their vaccination rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines and Society)
Review
Global Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: A Systematic Review
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081349 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
Background: vaccine hesitancy is defined as a delay in the acceptance or refusal of vaccination, even though immunisation is a determinant in reducing the mortality and morbidity associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Aim: to identify and analyse the predictors of COVID-19 vaccine [...] Read more.
Background: vaccine hesitancy is defined as a delay in the acceptance or refusal of vaccination, even though immunisation is a determinant in reducing the mortality and morbidity associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Aim: to identify and analyse the predictors of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and/or hesitancy. Methods: a systematic review according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria. Keywords: vaccine and (COVID or SARS) and (acceptance or acceptability or willingness or hesitancy or refusal) and (multivariate or regression) and (questionnaire or survey) and national. Databases/resources: PubMed, DOAJ, SciELO and b-on. Timeframe: March 2020–2022. Inclusion criteria: general population, questionnaire-based, calculation of a multivariate regression model and national studies. Quality assessment: application of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute (NHLBI) tool. Results: a total of 37 studies were selected, whose overall rate was fair. The most predominant predictors of vaccine hesitancy were a lower perceived risk of getting infected, a lower level of institutional trust, not being vaccinated against influenza, lower levels of perceived severity of COVID-19, or stronger beliefs that the vaccination would cause side effects or be unsafe. Discussion and conclusion: the identified predictors can be used to design tailored health policies and/or public health interventions, or to evaluate subjects’ vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Vaccines and Society)
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Article
Cellular and Humoral Immunity against Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants Is Detectable but Reduced in Vaccinated Kidney Transplant Patients
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081348 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 414
Abstract
In kidney transplant (KTX) patients, immune responses after booster vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 are inadequately examined. We analyzed these patients a median of four months after a third/fourth vaccination and compared them to healthy controls. Cellular responses were analyzed by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 [...] Read more.
In kidney transplant (KTX) patients, immune responses after booster vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 are inadequately examined. We analyzed these patients a median of four months after a third/fourth vaccination and compared them to healthy controls. Cellular responses were analyzed by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) ELISpot assays. Neutralizing antibody titers were assessed against SARS-CoV-2 D614G (wild type) and the variants alpha, delta, and omicron by a cell culture-based neutralization assay. Humoral immunity was also determined by a competitive fluorescence assay, using 11 different variants of SARS-CoV-2. Antibody ratios were measured by ELISA. KTX patients showed significantly lower SARS-CoV-2-specific IFN-γ responses after booster vaccination than healthy controls. However, SARS-CoV-2-specific IL-2 responses were comparable to the T cell responses of healthy controls. Cell culture-based neutralizing antibody titers were 1.3-fold higher in healthy controls for D614G, alpha, and delta, and 7.8-fold higher for omicron (p < 0.01). Healthy controls had approximately 2-fold higher concentrations of potential neutralizing antibodies against all 11 variants than KTX patients. However, more than 60% of the KTX patients displayed antibodies to variants of SARS-CoV-2. Thus, KTX patients should be partly protected, due to neutralizing antibodies to variants of SARS-CoV-2 or by cross-reactive T cells, especially those producing IL-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue T Cell Responses in SARS-CoV-2)
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Communication
Vaccinations versus Lockdowns to Prevent COVID-19 Mortality
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081347 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Measures employed to combat COVID-19 included public lockdowns and vaccination campaigns. Israel’s extensive public health system produced data demonstrating the real-world results of these measures. Our objective was to evaluate the health and economic outcomes of the measures to cope with COVID-19. Publicly [...] Read more.
Measures employed to combat COVID-19 included public lockdowns and vaccination campaigns. Israel’s extensive public health system produced data demonstrating the real-world results of these measures. Our objective was to evaluate the health and economic outcomes of the measures to cope with COVID-19. Publicly available datasets from the Israeli Ministry of Health were used to model the parameters of the pandemic in Israel. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker was used for quantitative data on government policies. Data on the Israeli economy were taken from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Our models demonstrate that the first lockdown prevented 1022 COVID-19 deaths at the cost of 36.4–38.6 billion NIS. The second lockdown prevented 1970 COVID-19 deaths and cost 18–21 billion NIS. These lifesaving effects were observed with a time lag from the declaration of lockdown. The primary vaccination campaign cost 1 billion NIS and prevented 4750 COVID-19 deaths. The first vaccination booster campaign prevented 650 COVID-19 deaths and cost 51.1 million NIS. Therefore, the cost per prevented COVID-19 death is 10–36 million NIS with a national lockdown versus 210,000 NIS in the primary vaccination campaign and 79,000 NIS in the first booster campaign. In conclusion, both lockdowns and vaccination campaigns effectively lower COVID-19 deaths, but the cost to avoid one COVID-19 death with effective vaccination is 50–466 times lower than with a lockdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Vaccines for COVID-19 and Related Coronavirus Diseases)
Review
The SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies, Their Diagnostic Utility, and Their Potential for Vaccine Development
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081346 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Antibodies (Abs) are important immune mediators and powerful diagnostic markers in a wide range of infectious diseases. Understanding the humoral immunity or the development of effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is a prerequisite for limiting disease burden in the community and aids in the [...] Read more.
Antibodies (Abs) are important immune mediators and powerful diagnostic markers in a wide range of infectious diseases. Understanding the humoral immunity or the development of effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is a prerequisite for limiting disease burden in the community and aids in the development of new diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccination options. Accordingly, the role of antiviral antibodies in the resistance to and diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection was explored. Antibody testing showed the potential in adding important diagnostic value to the routine diagnosis and clinical management of COVID-19. They could also play a critical role in COVID-19 surveillance, allowing for a better understanding of the full scope of the disease. The development of several vaccines and the success of passive immunotherapy suggest that anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have the potential to be used in the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review, we highlight the role of antibodies in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide an update on their protective roles in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as vaccine development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Response against SARS-CoV-2)
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Article
Satisfaction with COVID-19 Vaccines in Health Care Workers and the General Population: A Cross-Sectional Study in Urban Bangkok, Thailand
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081345 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy is a global issue. Many people are concerned about experiencing side effects from the vaccine. This study evaluated satisfaction with the COVID-19 vaccine in the general population (GP) and healthcare workers (HCWs) in Bangkok, Thailand. Methods: A cross-sectional online [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy is a global issue. Many people are concerned about experiencing side effects from the vaccine. This study evaluated satisfaction with the COVID-19 vaccine in the general population (GP) and healthcare workers (HCWs) in Bangkok, Thailand. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed from September-December 2021. Independent sample t-tests were used to compare GP and HCW participants’ total vaccine satisfaction scores as well as their satisfaction with varying vaccine types. Multiple linear regression was used to identify predictors of satisfaction scores among GP and HCWs. Results: A total of 780 valid questionnaire responses were obtained. The majority of GP participants (n = 390) had received their first (93.3%) and second (88.5%) vaccination shots by viral vector vaccine; however, 90% had not received a third dose (booster). In contrast, the majority of HCW participants (n = 390) had received their first (92.8%) and second (82.8%) vaccination doses by the inactivated vaccine, and 83% had received a third vaccine dose. HCWs had significantly higher total satisfaction scores than GP participants (p = 0.034), and they were also significantly more satisfied with the mRNA vaccine as a third dose (p = 0.001). Multiple linear regression models found less association with vaccine satisfaction among GP participants who had not isolated following exposure to COVID-19 and those who have never been at risk of infection (ᵦ −0.159; 95% CI −12.867, −1.877; p = 0.009). Among HCWs, being married (ᵦ 0.157; 95% CI 0.794, 3.278; p = 0.001) or divorced (ᵦ 0.198; 95% CI 3.303, 9.596; p < 0.01) was more closely associated with vaccine satisfaction than being single. Conclusion: HCWs were more satisfied with the type and efficacy of inactivated, viral vector, and mRNA vaccines than GP participants, and the former were also more satisfied with the cost of vaccine boosters. Our results indicate that satisfaction with the COVID-19 vaccine is based on academic knowledge sharing and the government’s promotion efforts. Future research will explore strategies to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination. Full article
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Article
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among Children Visiting a Tertiary Hospital during the Prevaccination Period, Southwest Region, Saudi Arabia
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081344 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Background: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, tests to ascertain whether individuals were infected with SARS-CoV-2 were often unavailable. One method to deal with this issue is to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. This study sought to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 [...] Read more.
Background: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, tests to ascertain whether individuals were infected with SARS-CoV-2 were often unavailable. One method to deal with this issue is to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. This study sought to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in children in Saudi Arabia before vaccines were available to them. Methods: This study was conducted among children who visited the tertiary Maternity and Children Hospital in Abha city, Saudi Arabia. Serum samples were screened for SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies using ELISA. The crude and adjusted seroprevalence values among the studied children were calculated. Results: Among the 413 children studied, the ages of enrolled patients ranged from newborn to 12 years, with a median age of three years. We identified 127 (30.7%) seropositive children. IgG was exclusively positive in 43 (10.4%); IgM was exclusively positive in 8 (1.9%), and IgA was exclusively positive in 15 (3.6%) children. Conclusions: This study is the first to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among the pediatric population seeking medical care in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The findings shed light on the dynamics of virus transmission in the community and provide a good reference for future studies. Future research should examine factors related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroprevalence among pediatric populations. Full article
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Article
Community Health Resources, Globalization, Trust in Science, and Voting as Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccination Rates: A Global Study with Implications for Vaccine Adherence
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081343 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
The COVID-19 global pandemic requires, not only an adequate supply of, but public adherence to safe and effective vaccinations. This study analyzes the human and economic resources and political and public attitudinal factors that influence widely varying country-level coronavirus vaccination rates. Using data [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 global pandemic requires, not only an adequate supply of, but public adherence to safe and effective vaccinations. This study analyzes the human and economic resources and political and public attitudinal factors that influence widely varying country-level coronavirus vaccination rates. Using data on up to 95 countries, we found that countries’ strength of community health training and research (CHTR), education index, globalization, and vaccine supply are associated with a greater COVID-19 vaccination rate. In a separate analysis, certain political factors, and public attitudes (perceived government effectiveness, government fiscal decentralization, trust in science, and parliamentary voter turnout) predicted vaccination rates. Perceived corruption and actual freedoms (political rights and civil liberties) related to vaccination rates in prior studies were not significantly predictive when controlling for the above factors. The results confirm our prior findings on the importance of CHTR resources for increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates. They also suggest that to motivate vaccine adherence countries need, not only an adequate vaccine supply (which depends on a country having either its own resources or effective global political, social, and economic connections) and community health workforce training and research, but also a population that trusts in science, and is actively engaged in the political process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Vaccination Willingness for COVID-19)
Review
Vaccination for Monkeypox Virus Infection in Humans: A Review of Key Considerations
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081342 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Monkeypox virus infection in humans (MVIH) is currently an evolving public health concern given that >3000 MVIH cases have been reported in >50 countries globally, and the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on 23 July 2022. Adults (≥16 years [...] Read more.
Monkeypox virus infection in humans (MVIH) is currently an evolving public health concern given that >3000 MVIH cases have been reported in >50 countries globally, and the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on 23 July 2022. Adults (≥16 years old) usually have mild disease in contemporary studies, with a pooled case fatality rate of 0.03% (1/2941 cases). In comparison, poorer outcomes have been reported in children <16 years old (pooled case fatality rate 19% (4/21 cases)), immunocompromised patients, and pregnant women, with high rates of fetal demise in this group. Monkeypox-specific treatments include oral or intravenous tecovirimat, intravenous or topical cidofovir, oral brincidofovir, and vaccinia immunoglobulin, but the overall risk–benefit balance of monkeypox-specific treatment is unclear. Two effective vaccines exist for the prevention of MVIH: modified vaccinia Ankara and ACAM2000. Most probably, vaccination will be a key strategy for mitigating MVIH given the current rapid global spread of monkeypox, the existence of efficacious vaccines, and the uncertain risk–benefit profile of current antivirals. Priority groups for vaccination should include healthcare workers at high risk for occupational exposure, immunocompromised patients, and children. Vaccination strategies include pre-exposure vaccination, post-exposure prophylaxis, and ring vaccination of close contacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination for Monkeypox Infection in Humans)
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