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Vaccines, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 134 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The efficacy of primary vaccination, boosters, and Omicron-adapted mRNA vaccines in preventing severe SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths has been well established. However, long-term follow up data on the immune response following repeated SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations are limited. In previously infected individuals, the immune response could be affected by immune imprinting. Waning immunity after vaccination and the emergence of immune-evading variants results in breakthrough infections; the repeated exposure of vaccinated individuals to SARS-CoV-2 antigens through breakthrough infections and/or additional vaccines could modulate the immune response against the antigenic RBD domain of new variants through hybrid immune damping. This Vaccines issue publishes long-term analyses of humoral and T cell responses in healthy adults receiving multiple SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. View this paper
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20 pages, 5227 KiB  
Article
Role of Pre-Farrow Natural Planned Exposure of Gilts in Shaping the Passive Antibody Response to Rotavirus A in Piglets
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121866 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1416
Abstract
Natural planned exposure (NPE) remains one of the most common methods in swine herds to boost lactogenic immunity against rotaviruses. However, the efficacy of NPE protocols in generating lactogenic immunity has not been investigated before. A longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the [...] Read more.
Natural planned exposure (NPE) remains one of the most common methods in swine herds to boost lactogenic immunity against rotaviruses. However, the efficacy of NPE protocols in generating lactogenic immunity has not been investigated before. A longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the dynamics of genotype-specific antibody responses to different doses (3, 2 and 1) of Rotavirus A (RVA) NPE (genotypes G4, G5, P[7] and P[23]) in gilts and the transfer of lactogenic immunity to their piglets. Group 1 gilts received three doses of NPE at 5, 4 and 3 weeks pre-farrow (WPF), group 2 received two doses at 5 and 3 WPF, group 3 received one dose at 5 WPF, and group 4 received no NPE (control group). VP7 (G4 and G5) and truncated VP4* (P[7] and P[23]) antigens of RVA were expressed in mammalian and bacterial expression systems, respectively, and used to optimize indirect ELISAs to determine antibody levels against RVA in gilts and piglets. In day-0 colostrum samples, group 1 had significantly higher IgG titers compared to the control group for all four antigens, and either significantly or numerically higher IgG titers than groups 2 and 3. Group 1 also had significantly higher colostrum IgA levels than the control group for all antigens (except G4), and either significantly or numerically higher IgA levels compared to groups 2 and 3. In piglet serum, group 1 piglets had higher IgG titers for all four antigens at day 0 than the other groups. Importantly, RVA NPE stimulated antibodies in all groups regardless of the treatment doses and prevented G4, G5, P[7] and P[23] RVA fecal shedding prior to weaning in piglets in the absence of viral challenge. The G11 and P[34] RVA genotypes detected from pre-weaning piglets differed at multiple amino acid positions with parent NPE strains. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the group 1 NPE regimen (three doses of NPE) resulted in the highest anti-RVA antibody (IgG and IgA) levels in the colostrum/milk, and the highest IgG levels in piglet serum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Vaccines)
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0 pages, 3993 KiB  
Article
A CTB-SARS-CoV-2-ACE-2 RBD Mucosal Vaccine Protects Against Coronavirus Infection
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121865 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Mucosal vaccines protect against respiratory virus infection by stimulating the production of IgA antibodies that protect against virus invasion of the mucosal epithelium. In this study, a novel protein subunit mucosal vaccine was constructed for protection against infection by the beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. [...] Read more.
Mucosal vaccines protect against respiratory virus infection by stimulating the production of IgA antibodies that protect against virus invasion of the mucosal epithelium. In this study, a novel protein subunit mucosal vaccine was constructed for protection against infection by the beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine was assembled by linking a gene encoding the SARS-CoV-2 virus S1 angiotensin converting enzyme receptor binding domain (ACE-2-RBD) downstream from a DNA fragment encoding the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB), a mucosal adjuvant known to stimulate vaccine immunogenicity. A 42 kDa vaccine fusion protein was identified in homogenates of transformed E. coli BL-21 cells by acrylamide gel electrophoresis and by immunoblotting against anti-CTB and anti-ACE-2-RBD primary antibodies. The chimeric CTB-SARS-CoV-2-ACE-2-RBD vaccine fusion protein was partially purified from clarified bacterial homogenates by nickel affinity column chromatography. Further vaccine purification was accomplished by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and electro-elution of the 42 kDa chimeric vaccine protein. Vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed by oral, nasal, and parenteral immunization of BALB/c mice with the CTB-SARS-CoV-2-ACE-2-RBD protein. Vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies were quantified in immunized mouse serum by ELISA analysis. Serum from immunized mice contained IgG and IgA antibodies that neutralized SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cell cultures. In contrast to unimmunized mice, cytological examination of cell necrosis in lung tissues excised from immunized mice revealed no detectable cellular abnormalities. Mouse behavior following vaccine immunization remained normal throughout the duration of the experiments. Together, our data show that a CTB-adjuvant-stimulated CTB-SARS-CoV-2-ACE-2-RBD chimeric mucosal vaccine protein synthesized in bacteria can produce durable and persistent IgA antibodies in mice that neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 subvariant Omicron BA.1.1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mucosal Immunity to Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 708 KiB  
Brief Report
SARS-CoV-2 Humoral Immunity Persists Following Rituximab Therapy
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121864 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Long-term humoral immunity is mediated by short-lived plasma cells (replenished by memory B cells) and long-lived plasma cells. Their relative contributions are uncertain for immunity to SARS-CoV-2, especially given the widespread use of novel mRNA vaccines. Yet, this has far-reaching implications in terms [...] Read more.
Long-term humoral immunity is mediated by short-lived plasma cells (replenished by memory B cells) and long-lived plasma cells. Their relative contributions are uncertain for immunity to SARS-CoV-2, especially given the widespread use of novel mRNA vaccines. Yet, this has far-reaching implications in terms of the need for regular booster doses in the general population and perhaps even revaccination in patients receiving B cell-depleting therapy. We aimed to characterise anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titres in patients receiving Rituximab following previous SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We recruited 10 fully vaccinated patients (age: 16.9 ± 2.52 years) with childhood-onset nephrotic syndrome, not in relapse, receiving Rituximab for their steroid/calcineurin-inhibitor sparing effect. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins were measured immediately prior to Rituximab and again ~6 months later, using the Roche Elecys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (S) assay. All ten patients were positive for anti-S antibodies prior to Rituximab, with six patients (60%) having titres above the upper limit of detection (>12,500 U/mL). Following Rituximab therapy, there was a reduction in anti-S titres (p = 0.043), but all patients remained positive for anti-S antibodies, with five patients (50%) continuing to have titres >12,500 U/mL. Six patients (60%) were positive for anti-N antibodies prior to Rituximab. Following Rituximab therapy, only three of these six patients remained positive for anti-N antibodies (p = 0.036 compared to anti-S seroreversion). Humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be mediated in part by long-lived plasma cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines)
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16 pages, 4495 KiB  
Article
Safety and Immunogenicity of an In Vivo Muscle Electroporation Delivery System for DNA-hsp65 Tuberculosis Vaccine in Cynomolgus Monkeys
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121863 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1242
Abstract
A Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is still the only licensed vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis, providing limited protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in adulthood. New advances in the delivery of DNA vaccines by electroporation have been made in the past decade. We evaluated [...] Read more.
A Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is still the only licensed vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis, providing limited protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in adulthood. New advances in the delivery of DNA vaccines by electroporation have been made in the past decade. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the DNA-hsp65 vaccine administered by intramuscular electroporation (EP) in cynomolgus macaques. Animals received three doses of DNA-hsp65 at 30-day intervals. We demonstrated that intramuscular electroporated DNA-hsp65 vaccine immunization of cynomolgus macaques was safe, and there were no vaccine-related effects on hematological, renal, or hepatic profiles, compared to the pre-vaccination parameters. No tuberculin skin test conversion nor lung X-ray alteration was identified. Further, low and transient peripheral cellular immune response and cytokine expression were observed, primarily after the third dose of the DNA-hsp65 vaccine. Electroporated DNA-hsp65 vaccination is safe but provides limited enhancement of peripheral cellular immune responses. Preclinical vaccine trials with DNA-hsp65 delivered via EP may include a combination of plasmid cytokine adjuvant and/or protein prime–boost regimen, to help the induction of a stronger cellular immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress of New Tuberculosis Vaccines and Vaccine Design)
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26 pages, 2324 KiB  
Review
HBV Vaccines: Advances and Development
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121862 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2236
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health problem that is closely related to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The prevalence of acute and chronic HBV infection, liver cirrhosis, and HCC has significantly decreased as a result of the introduction [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health problem that is closely related to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The prevalence of acute and chronic HBV infection, liver cirrhosis, and HCC has significantly decreased as a result of the introduction of universal HBV vaccination programs. The first hepatitis B vaccine approved was developed by purifying the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) from the plasma of asymptomatic HBsAg carriers. Subsequently, recombinant DNA technology led to the development of the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. Although there are already several licensed vaccines available for HBV infection, continuous research is essential to develop even more effective vaccines. Prophylactic hepatitis B vaccination has been important in the prevention of hepatitis B because it has effectively produced protective immunity against hepatitis B viral infection. Prophylactic vaccines only need to provoke neutralizing antibodies directed against the HBV envelop proteins, whereas therapeutic vaccines are most likely needed to induce a comprehensive T cell response and thus, should include other HBV antigens, such as HBV core and polymerase. The existing vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing HBV infection, but ongoing research aims to improve their efficacy, duration of protection, and accessibility. The routine administration of the HBV vaccine is safe and well-tolerated worldwide. The purpose of this type of immunization is to trigger an immunological response in the host, which will halt HBV replication. The clinical efficacy and safety of the HBV vaccine are affected by a number of immunological and clinical factors. However, this success is now in jeopardy due to the breakthrough infections caused by HBV variants with mutations in the S gene, high viral loads, and virus-induced immunosuppression. In this review, we describe various types of available HBV vaccines, along with the recent progress in the ongoing battle to develop new vaccines against HBV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hepatitis Virus Vaccines)
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23 pages, 2864 KiB  
Article
Toll-like Receptor 2 Mediated Immune Regulation in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Rhesus Macaques
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121861 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 962
Abstract
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial to the innate immune response. They regulate inflammatory reactions by initiating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. TLRs also play a role in shaping the adaptive immune responses. While this protective response is important for eliminating infectious [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial to the innate immune response. They regulate inflammatory reactions by initiating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. TLRs also play a role in shaping the adaptive immune responses. While this protective response is important for eliminating infectious pathogens, persistent activation of TLRs may result in chronic immune activation, leading to detrimental effects. The role of TLR2 in regulating HIV-1 infection in vivo has yet to be well described. In this study, we used an SIV-infected rhesus macaque model to simulate HIV infection in humans. We evaluated the plasma of the macaques longitudinally and found a significant increase in the soluble TLR2 (sTLR2) level after SIV infection. We also observed an increase in membrane-bound TLR2 (mb-TLR2) in cytotoxic T cells, B cells, and NK cells in PBMC and NK cells in the gut after infection. Our results suggest that sTLR2 regulates the production of various cytokines and chemokines, including IL-18, IL-1RA, IL-15, IL-13, IL-9, TPO, FLT3L, and IL-17F, as well as chemokines, including IP-10, MCP-1, MCP-2, ENA-78, GRO-α, I-TAC, Fractalkine, SDF-1α, and MIP-3α. Interestingly, these cytokines and chemokines were also upregulated after the infection. The positive correlation between SIV copy number and sTLR2 in the plasma indicated the involvement of TLR2 in the regulation of viral replication. These cytokines and chemokines could directly or indirectly regulate viral replication through the TLR2 signaling pathways. When we stimulated PBMC with the TLR2 agonist in vitro, we observed a direct induction of various cytokines and chemokines. Some of these cytokines and chemokines, such as IL-1RA, IL-9, IL-15, GRO-α, and ENA-78, were positively correlated with sTLR2 in vivo, highlighting the direct involvement of TLR2 in the regulation of the production of these factors. Our findings suggest that TLR2 expression may be a target for developing new therapeutic strategies to combat HIV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Immunity in HIV-1 Infection)
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18 pages, 2288 KiB  
Article
The Production of Recombinant African Swine Fever Virus Lv17/WB/Rie1 Strains and Their In Vitro and In Vivo Characterizations
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121860 - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
Lv17/WB/Rie1-Δ24 was produced via illegitimate recombination mediated by low-dilution serial passage in the Cos7 cell line and isolated on PAM cell culture. The virus contains a huge ~26.4 Kb deletion in the left end of its genome. Lv17/WB/Rie1-ΔCD-ΔGL was generated via homologous recombination, [...] Read more.
Lv17/WB/Rie1-Δ24 was produced via illegitimate recombination mediated by low-dilution serial passage in the Cos7 cell line and isolated on PAM cell culture. The virus contains a huge ~26.4 Kb deletion in the left end of its genome. Lv17/WB/Rie1-ΔCD-ΔGL was generated via homologous recombination, crossing two ASFV strains (Lv17/WB/Rie1-ΔCD and Lv17/WB/Rie1-ΔGL containing eGFP and mCherry markers) during PAM co-infection. The presence of unique parental markers in the Lv17/WB/Rie1-ΔCD-ΔGL genome indicates at least two recombination events during the crossing, suggesting that homologous recombination is a relatively frequent event in the ASFV genome during replication in PAM. Pigs infected with Lv17/WB/Rie1-Δ24 and Lv17/WB/Rie1/ΔCD-ΔGL strains have shown mild clinical signs despite that ASFV could not be detected in their sera until a challenge infection with the Armenia/07 ASFV strain. The two viruses were not able to induce protective immunity in pigs against a virulent Armenia/07 challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Control of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) Infection)
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15 pages, 1469 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Risk Factors of Relapse Activity after Vaccination against COVID-19 in People with Multiple Sclerosis: 1-Year Follow-Up Results from a Nationwide Longitudinal Observational Study
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1859; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121859 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Several studies reported post-SARS-CoV-2-vaccination (PV) symptoms. Even people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) have concerns about disease activity following the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We aimed to determine the proportion of PwMS with PV relapses, the PV annualized relapse rate (ARR), the time from vaccination to [...] Read more.
Several studies reported post-SARS-CoV-2-vaccination (PV) symptoms. Even people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) have concerns about disease activity following the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We aimed to determine the proportion of PwMS with PV relapses, the PV annualized relapse rate (ARR), the time from vaccination to subsequent relapses, and identify sociodemographic/clinical risk factors for PV relapses. PwMS were surveyed several times at baseline and four follow-ups as part of a longitudinal observational study regarding the safety and tolerability of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The inclusion criteria for this analysis were age ≥18 years, ≥1 SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, and ≥1-year observation period since initial vaccination. Of 2466 PwMS, 13.8% reported PV relapses (mostly after second [N = 147] or booster vaccination [N = 145]) at a median of 8.0 (first/third quantile: 3.55/18.1) weeks PV, with the shortest period following initial vaccination (3.95 weeks). The ARR was 0.153 (95% confidence interval: 0.138–0.168), with a median observation period since initial vaccination of 1.2 years. Risk factors for PV relapses were younger age, female gender, moderate-severe disability levels, concurrent autoimmune diseases, relapsing-remitting MS courses, no DMT, and relapses within the year prior to the first vaccination. Patients’ health conditions before/during initial vaccination may play a more important role in PV relapse occurrence than vaccination per se. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Autoimmune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination)
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15 pages, 2768 KiB  
Article
Biological Characteristics of Feline Calicivirus Epidemic Strains in China and Screening of Broad-Spectrum Protective Vaccine Strains
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121858 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is one of the most important pathogens causing upper respiratory tract diseases in cats, posing a serious health threat to these animals. At present, FCV is mainly prevented through vaccination, but the protective efficacy of vaccines in China is limited. [...] Read more.
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is one of the most important pathogens causing upper respiratory tract diseases in cats, posing a serious health threat to these animals. At present, FCV is mainly prevented through vaccination, but the protective efficacy of vaccines in China is limited. In this study, based on the differences in capsid proteins of isolates from different regions in China, as reported in our previous studies, seven representative FCV epidemic strains were selected and tested for their viral titers, virulence, immunogenicity, and extensive cross-protection. Subsequently, vaccine strains were selected to prepare inactivated vaccines. The whole-genome sequencing and analysis results showed that these seven representative FCV strains and 144 reference strains fell into five groups (A, B, C, D, and E). The strains isolated in China mainly fall into groups C and D, exhibiting regional characteristics. These Chinese isolates had a distant evolutionary relationship and low homology with the current FCV-255 vaccine strain. The screened FCV-HB7 and FCV-HB10 strains displayed desirable in vitro culture characteristics, with the highest virus proliferation titers (109.5 TCID50/mL) at 36 h post inoculation at a dose of 0.01 MOI. All five cats infected intranasally with FCV-HB7 or FCV-HB10 strains showed obvious clinical symptoms of FCV. The symptoms of cats infected with the FCV-HB7 strain were more severe than those infected with the FCV-HB10 strain. Both the single-strain inactivated immunization and combined bivalent inactivated vaccine immunization of FCV-HB7 and FCV-HB10 induced high neutralizing antibody titers in five cats immunized. Moreover, bivalent inactivated vaccine immunization protected cats from FCV-HB7 and FCV-HB10 strains. The cross-neutralizing antibody titer against seven representative FCV epidemic strains achieved by combined bivalent inactivated vaccine immunization was higher than that achieved by single-strain immunization, which was much higher than that achieved by commercial vaccine FCV-255 strain immunization. The above results suggest that the FCV-HB7 and FCV-HB10 strains screened in this study have great potential to become vaccine strains with broad-spectrum protective efficacy. However, their immune protective efficacy needs to be further verified by multiple methods before clinical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Scientific Advances in Vaccine Platforms)
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12 pages, 2416 KiB  
Article
A Novel, Comprehensive A129 Mouse Model for Investigating Dengue Vaccines and Evaluating Pathogenesis
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121857 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
In search of a mouse model for use in evaluating dengue vaccines, we assessed A129 mice that lacked IFN-α/β receptors, rendering them susceptible to dengue virus (DENV) infection. To our knowledge, no reports have evaluated dengue vaccine efficiency using A129 mice. A129 mice [...] Read more.
In search of a mouse model for use in evaluating dengue vaccines, we assessed A129 mice that lacked IFN-α/β receptors, rendering them susceptible to dengue virus (DENV) infection. To our knowledge, no reports have evaluated dengue vaccine efficiency using A129 mice. A129 mice were given a single intraperitoneal (IP) or subcutaneous (SC) injection of the vaccine, Dengvaxia. After 14 days of immunization via the IP or SC injection of Dengvaxia, the A129 mice exhibited notably elevated levels of anti-DENV immunoglobulin G and neutralizing antibodies (NAb) targeting all four DENV serotypes, with DENV-4 displaying the highest NAb levels. After challenge with DENV-2, Dengvaxia and mock-immunized mice survived, while only the mock group exhibited signs of morbidity. Viral genome levels in the serum and tissues (excluding the brain) were considerably lower in the immunized mice compared to those in the mock group. The SC administration of Dengvaxia resulted in lower viremia levels than IP administration did. Therefore, given that A129 mice manifest dengue-related morbidity, including viremia in the serum and other tissues, these mice represent a valuable model for investigating novel dengue vaccines and antiviral drugs and for exploring dengue pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flaviviruses: Immunity and Vaccine Development)
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20 pages, 1438 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Theoretical Frameworks to Detect Correlates of HPV Vaccination in the Midwest, US, Using Structural Equation Modeling
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121856 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 913
Abstract
Knowledge of a valid, well-designed, and targeted theory-based framework helps better characterize reasons for HPV vaccine hesitancy and identify promising approaches to increase vaccination rates for eligible individuals. This study evaluated health theories in explaining factors affecting HPV vaccination and used a theoretical [...] Read more.
Knowledge of a valid, well-designed, and targeted theory-based framework helps better characterize reasons for HPV vaccine hesitancy and identify promising approaches to increase vaccination rates for eligible individuals. This study evaluated health theories in explaining factors affecting HPV vaccination and used a theoretical framework to identify direct and indirect predictors and mediators of HPV vaccination. A cross-sectional survey regarding HPV vaccine uptake and related factors was conducted among 1306 teenagers and young adults in the Midwest, US, in March and April 2023. Structural equation modeling confirmed fit of the framework based on the Integrated Health Theory (IHT) to the HPV vaccine data (Comparative Fit Index = 0.93; Tucker-Lewis Index = 0.92; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.053). While willingness to uptake the HPV vaccine directly predicted increased uptake (p < 0.001), perceived benefits (p < 0.001) and barriers (p < 0.023) about the vaccine indirectly predicted increased and decreased uptake, respectively. In turn, beliefs about susceptibility (p = 0.005) and severity (p < 0.001) of HPV infection and associated cancers and barriers to vaccination in general (p < 0.001) indirectly predicted willingness to uptake the vaccine. In conclusion, IHT can be appropriate in examining predictors of HPV vaccine uptake in teenagers and young adults in the US, particularly in the Midwest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy)
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8 pages, 388 KiB  
Brief Report
Real-World Efficacy of COVID-19 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis with Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121855 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 875
Abstract
Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus were authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and have proven effective for the prevention of morbidity and death from COVID-19. Certain immunosuppressant medications prevent the development of protective immunity following [...] Read more.
Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus were authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and have proven effective for the prevention of morbidity and death from COVID-19. Certain immunosuppressant medications prevent the development of protective immunity following COVID-19 vaccination. In December 2021, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a monoclonal-antibody combination of tixagevimab and cilgavimab, under the brand name Evusheld, for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against COVID-19 for individuals with moderate-to-severe immune compromise. While a 77% reduction in symptomatic COVID-19 was observed in the PROVENT study, the trial was conducted prior to emergence of the B.1.1.529 Omicron variant. We suspected reduced efficacy of PrEP against Omicron subvariants. We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing the prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 infections between 1 January 2022 and 1 July 2022 in eligible patients treated with PrEP versus untreated using a questionnaire administered with the REDCap survey tool. Responses from 235 participants were included in the final analysis, with 176 untreated respondents and 59 in the PrEP cohort. Symptomatic COVID-19 infections were reported in 50 (28.4%) untreated participants and only 9 (15.3%) of those who received PrEP (p = 0.0557; OR 0.4536; 95% CI 0.2046 to 0.9599). Only two participants were hospitalized for COVID-19 infection, both in the untreated cohort. The reduction in COVID-19 infections did not achieve statistical significance, indicating diminished efficacy against Omicron variants. Full article
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13 pages, 1637 KiB  
Article
Do Not Leave Your Patients in the Dark—Using American College of Rheumatology and European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology Recommendations for Vaccination in Polish Adult Patients with Autoimmune Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121854 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 813
Abstract
(1) Introduction: Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD) face a higher infectious risk compared to the general population. As per the ACR and EULAR recommendations, vaccinations against influenza, COVID-19, pneumococci, and tetanus are recommended for most patients with AIIRD. (2) Objectives: This [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD) face a higher infectious risk compared to the general population. As per the ACR and EULAR recommendations, vaccinations against influenza, COVID-19, pneumococci, and tetanus are recommended for most patients with AIIRD. (2) Objectives: This study aimed to assess vaccination coverage among Polish AIIRD patients and identify factors influencing it. (3) Patients and Methods: This study was conducted at the reference rheumatological center in Poland between May 2023 and October 2023. The study participants completed a questionnaire covering their knowledge of vaccination recommendations, actual vaccination status, factors affecting their decision to vaccinate, and their perspectives on immunization. (4) Results: This study involved 300 AIIRD patients and 60 controls. Both groups exhibited comparably low vaccination rates for all diseases (the highest for COVID-19—52% in both groups and the lowest for pneumococci—7.7% and 10%, respectively). Knowledge about recommended vaccinations was limited among patients in both groups. AIIRD patients were also not aware that they should avoid live vaccines. The primary motivators for vaccination among AIIRD patients were fear of infection (up to 75%) and medical advice (up to 74.6%). Conversely, the predominant reasons for non-vaccination were a lack of knowledge that vaccination is recommended (up to 74.7%) and concerns about potential adverse effects (up to 48.6%). Many patients reported not receiving vaccination recommendations from either primary care physicians or rheumatologists. (5) Conclusions: To enhance vaccination coverage among AIIRD patients in Poland, it is essential to educate them about vaccinations during routine medical consultations, emphasizing the increased risk of infection, informing them about recommended vaccinations, and clarifying doubts about adverse effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination of Patients with Immune-Mediated Diseases)
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28 pages, 2636 KiB  
Review
The Governance of Childhood Vaccination Services in Crisis Settings: A Scoping Review
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121853 - 14 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
The persistence of inadequate vaccination in crisis-affected settings raises concerns about decision making regarding vaccine selection, timing, location, and recipients. This review aims to describe the key features of childhood vaccination intervention design and planning in crisis-affected settings and investigate how the governance [...] Read more.
The persistence of inadequate vaccination in crisis-affected settings raises concerns about decision making regarding vaccine selection, timing, location, and recipients. This review aims to describe the key features of childhood vaccination intervention design and planning in crisis-affected settings and investigate how the governance of childhood vaccination is defined, understood, and practised. We performed a scoping review of 193 peer-reviewed articles and grey literature on vaccination governance and service design and planning. We focused on 41 crises between 2010 and 2021. Following screening and data extraction, our analysis involved descriptive statistics and applying the governance analysis framework to code text excerpts, employing deductive and inductive approaches. Most documents related to active outbreaks in conflict-affected settings and to the mass delivery of polio, cholera, and measles vaccines. Information on vaccination modalities, target populations, vaccine sources, and funding was limited. We found various interpretations of governance, often implying hierarchical authority and regulation. Analysis of governance arrangements suggests a multi-actor yet fragmented governance structure, with inequitable actor participation, ineffective actor collaboration, and a lack of a shared strategic vision due to competing priorities and accountabilities. Better documentation of vaccination efforts during emergencies, including vaccination decision making, governance, and planning, is needed. We recommend empirical research within decision-making spaces. Full article
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4 pages, 652 KiB  
Editorial
Successful Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy: Induction of Unresponsiveness by ‘Vaccination’
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121852 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 755
Abstract
The mechanisms of action of allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) are often referred to as the induction of ‘tolerance’. However, immunological ‘tolerance’ is defined as an alteration in the function or composition of immune cells. For AIT, this is not always the case, because it [...] Read more.
The mechanisms of action of allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) are often referred to as the induction of ‘tolerance’. However, immunological ‘tolerance’ is defined as an alteration in the function or composition of immune cells. For AIT, this is not always the case, because it can also induce allergen-specific IgG antibodies that block allergic responses. To include all possible mechanisms that may mediate successful AIT, it is advantageous to use the scientific term ‘unresponsiveness’ instead of ‘tolerance’. In praxis, the term ‘vaccination’ is also appropriate, as AIT medications are specialized vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Vaccines and Antimicrobial Therapy)
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16 pages, 2477 KiB  
Article
Transient Autoreactive PF4 and Antiphospholipid Antibodies in COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121851 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare autoimmune condition associated with recombinant adenovirus (rAV)-based COVID-19 vaccines. It is thought to arise from autoantibodies targeting platelet factor 4 (aPF4), triggered by vaccine-induced inflammation and the formation of neo-antigenic complexes between PF4 and the [...] Read more.
Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare autoimmune condition associated with recombinant adenovirus (rAV)-based COVID-19 vaccines. It is thought to arise from autoantibodies targeting platelet factor 4 (aPF4), triggered by vaccine-induced inflammation and the formation of neo-antigenic complexes between PF4 and the rAV vector. To investigate the specific induction of aPF4 by rAV-based vaccines, we examined sera from rAV vaccine recipients (AZD1222, AD26.COV2.S) and messenger RNA (mRNA) based (mRNA-1273, BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccine recipients. We compared the antibody fold change (FC) for aPF4 and for antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) of rAV to mRNA vaccine recipients. We combined two biobanks of Dutch healthcare workers and matched rAV-vaccinated individuals to mRNA-vaccinated controls, based on age, sex and prior history of COVID-19 (AZD1222: 37, Ad26.COV2.S: 35, mRNA-1273: 47, BNT162b2: 26). We found no significant differences in aPF4 FCs after the first (0.99 vs. 1.08, mean difference (MD) = −0.11 (95% CI −0.23 to 0.057)) and second doses of AZD1222 (0.99 vs. 1.10, MD = −0.11 (95% CI −0.31 to 0.10)) and after a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S compared to mRNA-based vaccines (1.01 vs. 0.99, MD = 0.026 (95% CI −0.13 to 0.18)). The mean FCs for the aPL in rAV-based vaccine recipients were similar to those in mRNA-based vaccines. No correlation was observed between post-vaccination aPF4 levels and vaccine type (mean aPF difference −0.070 (95% CI −0.14 to 0.002) mRNA vs. rAV). In summary, our study indicates that rAV and mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines do not substantially elevate aPF4 levels in healthy individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunotherapeutics for Treating Infectious Diseases and Beyond)
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10 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Knowledge of HPV and HPV Vaccination among Polish Students from Medical and Non-Medical Universities
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1850; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121850 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 958
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause both benign and malignant lesions. HPV vaccines, preferably administered before the onset of sexual activity, have demonstrated remarkable efficacy in preventing HPV-related cancers. The impact of a healthcare provider’s recommendation on [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause both benign and malignant lesions. HPV vaccines, preferably administered before the onset of sexual activity, have demonstrated remarkable efficacy in preventing HPV-related cancers. The impact of a healthcare provider’s recommendation on HPV vaccine acceptance is substantial. Therefore, medical students must undergo thorough training in this domain. This study compares fundamental understanding and viewpoints regarding HPV and anti-HPV vaccines among Polish students pursuing medical and non-medical sciences. This study was based on the authors’ questionnaire, and the results were statistically analyzed. The participants in this study were 1025 students (medical sciences students—520 respondents in total; and non-medical sciences students—505 respondents in total). According to the results, medical students’ knowledge about the consequences of HPV infection and vaccination against HPV was significantly greater. To date, numerous publications have investigated the understanding of particular social, gender, parental, etc., groups about vaccination, but the knowledge of students at different universities—medical and other—has not been compared. Social awareness is still insufficient, even in groups of medical students. There is much to be done to educate and encourage preventive behavior in those not receiving primary prevention in early childhood. Full article
14 pages, 2652 KiB  
Article
Oral Immunization with Recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Expressing Viral Capsid Protein 2 of Infectious Bursal Disease Virus Induces Unique Specific Antibodies and Protective Immunity
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121849 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Infectious bursal disease (IBD), as a highly infectious immunosuppressive disease, causes severe economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an appealing vehicle used in oral vaccine formulations to safely and effectively deliver heterologous antigens. It can elicit systemic and mucosal [...] Read more.
Infectious bursal disease (IBD), as a highly infectious immunosuppressive disease, causes severe economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an appealing vehicle used in oral vaccine formulations to safely and effectively deliver heterologous antigens. It can elicit systemic and mucosal responses. This study aims to explore the potential as oral an vaccine for S. cerevisiae expressing the capsid protein VP2 of IBDV. We constructed the recombinant S. cerevisiae, demonstrated that VP2 was displayed on the cell surface and had high immunoreactivity. By using the live ST1814G/Aga2-VP2 strain to immunize the mice, the results showed that recombinant S. cerevisiae significantly increased specific IgG and sIgA antibody titers, indicating the potential efficacy of vaccine-induced protection. These results suggested that the VP2 protein-expressing recombinant S. cerevisiae strain was a promising candidate oral subunit vaccine to prevent IBDV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Vaccines)
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10 pages, 1177 KiB  
Brief Report
COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Mediates the Relationship between Health Literacy and Vaccination in a Diverse Sample of Urban Adults
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1848; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121848 - 13 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 947
Abstract
We sought to analyze the relationship between health literacy, confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, and self-reported vaccination. We hypothesized that the relationship between health literacy and vaccination would be mediated by vaccine confidence. We recruited (N = 271) English- and Spanish-speaking adults in Boston [...] Read more.
We sought to analyze the relationship between health literacy, confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, and self-reported vaccination. We hypothesized that the relationship between health literacy and vaccination would be mediated by vaccine confidence. We recruited (N = 271) English- and Spanish-speaking adults in Boston and Chicago from September 2018 to September 2021. We performed a probit mediation analysis to determine if confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and health literacy predicted self-reported vaccination. We hypothesized that the relationship between health literacy and vaccination would be mediated by vaccine confidence. Participants were on average 50 years old, 65% female, 40% non-Hispanic Black, 25% Hispanic, and 30% non-Hispanic White; 231 (85%) reported at least one COVID-19 vaccination. A higher mean vaccine confidence score (t = −7.9, p < 0.001) and higher health literacy (t = −2.2, p = 0.03) were associated with vaccination, but only vaccine confidence predicted vaccination in a multivariate model. Vaccine confidence mediated the relationship between health literacy and COVID-19 vaccination (mediated effects: 0.04; 95% CI [0.02, 0.08]). We found that using a simple tool to measure vaccine confidence identified people who declined or delayed COVID-19 vaccination in a diverse sample of adults with varying levels of health literacy. Simple short survey tools can be useful to identify people who may benefit from vaccine promotion efforts and evidence-based communication strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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11 pages, 1158 KiB  
Perspective
The Limitations of Current T Cell-Driven Anticancer Immunotherapies Can Be Overcome with an Original Extracellular-Vesicle-Based Vaccine Strategy
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121847 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 809
Abstract
The emergence of tumors associated with defects in immune surveillance often involve the impairment of key functions of T lymphocytes. Therefore, several anticancer immunotherapies have focused on the induction/strengthening of the tumor-specific activity of T cells. In particular, strategies based on immune checkpoint [...] Read more.
The emergence of tumors associated with defects in immune surveillance often involve the impairment of key functions of T lymphocytes. Therefore, several anticancer immunotherapies have focused on the induction/strengthening of the tumor-specific activity of T cells. In particular, strategies based on immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T cells, and mRNA vaccines share a common goal of inducing/recovering an effective antitumor cytotoxic activity, often resulting in either exhausted or absent in patients’ lymphocytes. In many instances, these approaches have been met with success, becoming part of current clinic protocols. However, the most practiced strategies sometimes also pay significant tolls in terms of adverse events, a lack of target specificity, tumor escape, and unsustainable costs. Hence, new antitumor immunotherapies facing at least some of these issues need to be explored. In this perspective article, the characteristics of a novel CD8+ T cell-specific anticancer vaccine strategy based on in vivo-engineered extracellular vesicles are described. How this approach can be exploited to overcome at least some of the limitations of current antitumor immunotherapies is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy and Vaccines Research)
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21 pages, 3577 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Pre-Clinical Evaluation of a Gonococcal Trivalent Candidate Vaccine Identified by Transcriptomics
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1846; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121846 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, poses a significant global public health threat. Infection in women can be asymptomatic and may result in severe reproductive complications. Escalating antibiotic resistance underscores the need for an effective vaccine. Approaches being explored [...] Read more.
Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, poses a significant global public health threat. Infection in women can be asymptomatic and may result in severe reproductive complications. Escalating antibiotic resistance underscores the need for an effective vaccine. Approaches being explored include subunit vaccines and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), but an ideal candidate remains elusive. Meningococcal OMV-based vaccines have been associated with reduced rates of gonorrhea in retrospective epidemiologic studies, and with accelerated gonococcal clearance in mouse vaginal colonization models. Cross-protection is attributed to shared antigens and possibly cross-reactive, bactericidal antibodies. Using a Candidate Antigen Selection Strategy (CASS) based on the gonococcal transcriptome during human mucosal infection, we identified new potential vaccine targets that, when used to immunize mice, induced the production of antibodies with bactericidal activity against N. gonorrhoeae strains. The current study determined antigen recognition by human sera from N. gonorrhoeae-infected subjects, evaluated their potential as a multi-antigen (combination) vaccine in mice and examined the impact of different adjuvants (Alum or Alum+MPLA) on functional antibody responses to N. gonorrhoeae. Our results indicated that a stronger Th1 immune response component induced by Alum+MPLA led to antibodies with improved bactericidal activity. In conclusion, a combination of CASS-derived antigens may be promising for developing effective gonococcal vaccines. Full article
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12 pages, 840 KiB  
Article
Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Humoral and Cellular Immunity in a Cohort of Vaccinated Solid Organ Transplant Recipients
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121845 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to determine humoral and T-cell responses after four doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients, and to study predictors of immunogenicity, including the role of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunity. Secondarily, safety was [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to determine humoral and T-cell responses after four doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients, and to study predictors of immunogenicity, including the role of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunity. Secondarily, safety was also assessed. Liver, heart, and kidney transplant recipients eligible for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination from three different institutions in Barcelona, Spain were included. IgM/IgG antibodies and T cell ELISpot against the S protein four weeks after receiving four consecutive booster doses of the vaccine were analyzed. One hundred and forty-three SOT recipients were included (41% liver, 38% heart, and 21% kidney). The median time from transplantation to vaccination was 6.6 years (SD 7.4). In total, 93% of the patients developed SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG antibodies and 94% S-ELISpot positivity. In total, 97% of recipients developed either humoral or cellular response (100% of liver recipients, 95% of heart recipients, and 88% of kidney recipients). Hypogammaglobulinemia was associated with the absence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies and S-ELISpot reactivity after vaccination, whereas past symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies and S-ELISpot reactivity. Local and systemic side effects were generally mild or moderate, and no recipients experienced the development of de novo DSA or graft dysfunction following vaccination. Full article
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12 pages, 2658 KiB  
Article
Maternally Derived Antibodies to Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Modulate the Antigenic Specificity of Humoral Responses in Vaccinated Cattle
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121844 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 887
Abstract
Vaccination is widely used to control foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), but maternal antibodies may interfere with the response to vaccination in calves. This study, conducted on a regularly vaccinated Malaysian dairy farm, aimed to optimise the vaccination regime by measuring the in vitro neutralising [...] Read more.
Vaccination is widely used to control foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), but maternal antibodies may interfere with the response to vaccination in calves. This study, conducted on a regularly vaccinated Malaysian dairy farm, aimed to optimise the vaccination regime by measuring the in vitro neutralising virus antibody responses of 51 calves before and after vaccination with a one or two dose vaccination regime starting at 2–7 months old. The presence of maternal antibodies was associated with poor post-vaccination antibody responses after a single dose of vaccine in calves less than 6 months old. However, a second dose of vaccine given three weeks later, improved the antibody responses in all ages of calves. This confirms the view that in regularly vaccinated farms, some combination of delay and revaccination is needed to achieve effective immunization of calves. Sera from cows and pre-vaccinated calves neutralised homologous serotype A vaccine virus more strongly than a heterologous serotype A field virus, but this pattern was reversed in some calves after vaccination. The strength of heterologous responses in calves 49 days after first vaccination correlated to the amount of transferred maternal antibody, suggesting that pre-existing antibodies could have modulated the specificity of these active antibody responses. If confirmed, such an effect by pre-existing antibodies could have wider implications for broadening the coverage of FMD vaccine responses. Full article
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19 pages, 708 KiB  
Review
Checkpoint Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology: Will We Say Checkmate Soon?
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121843 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 912
Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a relatively new class of immunotherapy which bolsters the host immune system by “turning off the brakes” of effector cells (e.g., CTLA-4, PD-1, PD-L1). Although their success in treating adult malignancy is well documented, their utility in pediatric [...] Read more.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a relatively new class of immunotherapy which bolsters the host immune system by “turning off the brakes” of effector cells (e.g., CTLA-4, PD-1, PD-L1). Although their success in treating adult malignancy is well documented, their utility in pediatric cancer has not yet been shown to be as fruitful. We review ICIs, their use in pediatric malignancies, and active pediatric clinical trials, exemplifying some of adult efforts that could be related to pediatric future trials and complications of ICI therapy. Through our review, we propose the consideration of ICI as standard therapy in lymphoma and various solid tumor types, especially in relapsed or refractory (R/R) disease. However, further studies are needed to demonstrate ICI effectiveness in pediatric leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncology in the Era of SARS-CoV-2)
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13 pages, 3502 KiB  
Article
First Field Test of the Novel Integration Mapping Tool for COVID-19 Vaccination Integration into National Immunization Programs and Primary Healthcare—A Case Study from Côte d’Ivoire
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1842; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121842 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Introduction: With the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Côte d’Ivoire, efforts were made to seamlessly integrate COVID-19 vaccination into the national immunization program. A collaborative initiative involving UNICEF, WHO, GAVI, and partner organizations resulted in the creation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Integration [...] Read more.
Introduction: With the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Côte d’Ivoire, efforts were made to seamlessly integrate COVID-19 vaccination into the national immunization program. A collaborative initiative involving UNICEF, WHO, GAVI, and partner organizations resulted in the creation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Integration Mapping Tool. This paper presents a case study documenting the field testing of the integration mapping tool and assessing the integration of COVID-19 vaccination within primary healthcare and routine immunization in Côte d’Ivoire. The study aims to describe the pilot process, gather feedback on tool usefulness and challenges, and establish integration priorities through roadmap development. Methods: Under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Universal Coverage Cabinet, a workshop was conducted with participants from major health programs to field test the tool. Data analysis was performed using Excel, and the results were presented through tables, heat maps, and line graphs. Results: The first-of-its-kind field test of the integration mapping tool in Côte d’Ivoire showcased its potential to bring key partners together to discuss the current state of integration, improve transparency about resource allocation, and enhance data management for the incorporation of COVID-19 vaccination into existing immunization systems. The integration of COVID-19 vaccines in Côte d’Ivoire showed a moderate level of progress, with improvement needed in resource allocation, payment systems, targeting of highest-risk groups and vaccine administration. Support should be increased for target population identification, distribution points, quality of care mechanisms, and health personnel training. Health information systems and access to essential medicines were relatively satisfactory. Integration into existing programs, intersectoral collaboration, national health strategy, communication strategy, community participation, and data utilization require improvement. The post-workshop satisfaction survey gave the tool a score of 7 out of 10. Early lessons from Côte d’Ivoire provide guidance on enhancing integration, focusing on data-driven decision-making, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and effective leadership. Conclusions: The field test of the integration mapping tool (IMT) in Côte d’Ivoire is groundbreaking as it exemplifies the transformative potential of innovative tools in immunization practices. Application of the IMT sets a precedent for seamless COVID-19 vaccination integration worldwide, emphasizing data-driven decision-making, collaboration, timing, and leadership. The success of the pilot exercise in Côte d’Ivoire was attributed to political commitment, well-facilitated workshops, assessments, and the fact that the team in the country had previously developed an initial integration plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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14 pages, 1846 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology of Meningococcal Disease in Four South American Countries and Rationale of Vaccination in Adolescents from the Region: Position Paper of the Latin American Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (SLIPE)
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1841; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121841 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Surveillance of meningococcal disease (MD) is crucial after the implementation of vaccination strategies to monitor their impact on disease burden. Adolescent vaccination could provide direct and indirect protection. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have introduced meningococcal conjugate vaccines (MCV) into their National Immunization Programs [...] Read more.
Surveillance of meningococcal disease (MD) is crucial after the implementation of vaccination strategies to monitor their impact on disease burden. Adolescent vaccination could provide direct and indirect protection. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have introduced meningococcal conjugate vaccines (MCV) into their National Immunization Programs (NIP), while Uruguay has not. Here, we analyze the epidemiology of MD and vaccination experience from these four South American countries to identify needs and plans to improve the current vaccination programs. Methodology: Descriptive study of MD incidence rates, serogroup distribution, case fatality rates (CFR), and MCV uptakes during the period 2010–2021 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. Data were extracted from national surveillance programs, reference laboratories, NIPs, and Pubmed. Results: MD overall incidence from 2010 to 2021 have a decreasing trend in Argentina (0.37 [IQR = 0.20–0.61]), Brazil (0.59 [IQR = 0.54–1.22]), and Chile (0.45 [IQR = 0.40–0.77]), while a significant increase in Uruguay (0.47 [IQR = 0.33–0.69]) was found from 2016 to 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all countries sharply reduced their MD incidence. The highest incidence rates were observed among infants, followed by children 1–4 years of age. No second peak was evident in adolescents. A reduction in serogroup C, W, and Y cases has occurred in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile after introduction of MCV, serogroup B becoming predominant in all four countries. Median CFR was 9.0%, 21%, 19.9%, and 17.9% in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, respectively. Median uptake of MCV for Argentina and Brazil were 66.6% and 91.0% for priming in infants; 54.7% and 84.5% for booster in toddlers; and 47.5% and 53% for adolescents; while for Chile, 95.6% for toddlers. Conclusions: Experience after the implementation of MCV programs in South America was successful, reducing the burden of MD due to the vaccine serogroups. High vaccine uptake and the inclusion of adolescents will be crucial in the post-pandemic period to maintain the protection of the population. The increase in the proportion of serogroup B cases emphasizes the importance of continuous surveillance to guide future vaccination strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines against Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 2315 KiB  
Systematic Review
Attitudes towards Receiving Monkeypox Vaccination: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1840; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121840 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1197
Abstract
Background: The public’s attitude towards Mpox vaccination is a critical factor in the success of immunisation programmes. Understanding the factors contributing to vaccine acceptance or hesitancy is critical for developing effective health communication strategies. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to bring together [...] Read more.
Background: The public’s attitude towards Mpox vaccination is a critical factor in the success of immunisation programmes. Understanding the factors contributing to vaccine acceptance or hesitancy is critical for developing effective health communication strategies. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to bring together evidence from observational studies on attitudes towards Mpox vaccination, including willingness and rejection. Methods: From this review’s inception until June 2023, a comprehensive search was conducted across four major electronic databases: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and EBSCO. The inclusion criteria included studies investigating public attitudes towards Mpox vaccination, as defined by acceptance and willingness to be vaccinated versus rejection and unwillingness. Results: Thirty studies met the inclusion criteria among the screened literature. An analysis of 27 studies involving 81,792 participants revealed that 45,926 (56.14%) were willing to receive the Mpox vaccination. In contrast, ten studies involving 7448 participants revealed that 2156 people (28.94%) were unwilling to receive the Mpox vaccination. Females were less willing to receive the vaccine than males, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.61 (95% CI, 0.43–0.86). Furthermore, homosexuals were found to be more willing than heterosexuals, with an OR of 1.44 (95% CI, 1.14–1.80). Conclusion: Vaccination is emerging as a critical strategy for preventing Mpox infection and fostering herd immunity against potential outbreaks. Improving public awareness and acceptance of vaccination is critical to avoiding a situation similar to the COVID-19 pandemic. Targeted educational and outreach programmes could explain the benefits of vaccination, bridging the information gap and encouraging a proactive public health approach to emerging infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Status of Monkeypox Vaccines)
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2 pages, 546 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Rockman et al. Cell-Based Manufacturing Technology Increases Antigenic Match of Influenza Vaccine and Results in Improved Effectiveness. Vaccines 2023, 11, 52
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1839; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121839 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 592
Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections to this published paper [...] Full article
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12 pages, 1047 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Introducing Free Vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae on the Uptake of Recommended Vaccination in Poland
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1838; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121838 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Since 2017, pneumococcal vaccination has evolved from a recommended chargeable vaccination to a mandatory, and therefore free, vaccination for all children. While a 10-valent vaccine is commonly used, parents have the option to use a 13-valent vaccine for a fee. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Since 2017, pneumococcal vaccination has evolved from a recommended chargeable vaccination to a mandatory, and therefore free, vaccination for all children. While a 10-valent vaccine is commonly used, parents have the option to use a 13-valent vaccine for a fee. This study aimed to investigate whether and how the introduction of free pneumococcal vaccination affected the uptake of recommended vaccination and to assess the association of chargeable pneumococcal vaccination with recommended vaccination. Data from 1595 vaccination record cards kept by six primary care clinics in urban and rural areas of Poland were collected and analyzed for children born between 2015 and 2018. Belonging to the clinic and the year of birth were the only inclusion criteria. Following the introduction of free universal pneumococcal vaccination, more children were vaccinated with the recommended vaccination (61.2% vs. 66.6%, p = 0.026). The most significant change was in vaccination against rotavirus (48.5% vs. 54.4%, p = 0.018) and against meningococcal B bacteria (4.8% vs. 17.0%, p < 0.001). Children who received chargeable pneumococcal vaccination were also significantly more likely to be vaccinated with recommended vaccines (54.6% vs. 75.9%, p < 0.001). In particular, this was the case for multivalent vaccinations—against rotavirus, chickenpox, and meningococcal C bacteria. Reducing the impact of the economic factor, for example, by introducing free vaccinations, should have a positive impact on the uptake of other recommended vaccinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Prevention of Infections in Early Life)
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13 pages, 522 KiB  
Review
Mapping the Cognitive Biases Related to Vaccination: A Scoping Review of the Literature
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121837 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Introduction: Human behavior and understanding of the vaccine ecosystem play a critical role in the vaccination decision-making process. The objective of this study was to understand different cognitive biases that may lead to vaccine acceptance or hesitancy. Methods: The eligibility criteria for this [...] Read more.
Introduction: Human behavior and understanding of the vaccine ecosystem play a critical role in the vaccination decision-making process. The objective of this study was to understand different cognitive biases that may lead to vaccine acceptance or hesitancy. Methods: The eligibility criteria for this scoping review was vaccination-related cognitive bias studies published in the English language from inception to April 2022 and available on PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar. It included all geographical locations and individuals of all age groups and excluded studies focusing on (i) clinical trials of vaccines, (ii) vaccine research conduct bias, (iii) cognitive delay, or (iv) statistical biases. The search method also included reviewing references in the retrieved articles. Results: Overall, 58 articles were identified, and after screening, 19 were included in this study. Twenty-one cognitive biases with the potential to affect vaccination decision-making were observed. These biases were further grouped into three broad categories: cognitive biases seen while processing vaccine-related information, during vaccination-related decision-making, and due to prior beliefs regarding vaccination. Conclusions: This review identified critical cognitive biases affecting the entire process of vaccination that can influence research and public health efforts both positively and negatively. Recognizing and mitigating these cognitive biases is crucial for maintaining the population’s level of trust in vaccination programs around the world. Full article
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