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Vaccines, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 109 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Avian influenza viruses have demonstrated their pandemic potential by infecting humans. This study investigated the utility of influenza virus nucleoprotein (NP) and an autophagy-inducing peptide called C5 (AIP-C5) in developing a universal influenza vaccine for pandemic preparedness. Our findings reveal that the adenovirus vector carrying the influenza NP and AIP-C5 [HAd-C5-NP(H7N9)] elicits an enhanced cell-mediated immune response and confers broad protection against influenza A viruses. Notably, this vaccine vector affords protection against both seasonal and avian influenza A viruses in mice. View this paper
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13 pages, 1092 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Analysis of the Instant and Persistent Inhibition Effects of Maternal Poliovirus Antibodies on the Immune Response in a Phase IV Trial of a Sabin Strain-Based Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine
by Qiongzhou Yin, Yan Zheng, Zhifang Ying, Jingyu Li, Ya Jiang, Wenmei Bao, Youjian Dou, Yi Pu, Jin Lei, Haitao Yang, Ruiju Jiang, Yan Deng, Zhimei Zhao, Jing Pu, Jing Yang, Yadong Li, Min Xu, Wei Cai, Yanchun Che and Li Shi
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020217 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 771
Abstract
Background: An inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine made from Sabin strains (sIPVs) has widely been used in China since 2015. However, the quantitative data on the instant and persistent inhibition effects of maternal poliovirus antibodies on the immune response to sIPV priming and booster vaccination [...] Read more.
Background: An inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine made from Sabin strains (sIPVs) has widely been used in China since 2015. However, the quantitative data on the instant and persistent inhibition effects of maternal poliovirus antibodies on the immune response to sIPV priming and booster vaccination have not been available yet. Objective: In this study, we aim to explore and quantify the instant and persistent inhibition effect of maternal poliovirus antibodies on the immune response elicited by sIPV primary and booster vaccination. Methods: The immunogenicity data consisting of the days 0 and 30 after the prime and booster vaccination of the sIPV in a phase IV trial were pooled for a quantitative analysis of the inhibition effect of maternal poliovirus antibody. The geometric mean ratio (GMR) was calculated using linear regression models, representing that every 2-fold higher maternal poliovirus antibody titer may result in a (1-GMR) lower postimmunization antibody titer. Results: The GMRs for poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3 were 0.79 (0.77–0.82), 0.85 (0.81–0.89), and 0.87 (0.83–0.91) at 30 days after the priming series, 0.86 (0.83–0.89), 0.81 (0.76–0.85), and 0.86 (0.80–0.93) at one year after the priming series, and 0.96 (0.94–0.99), 0.89 (0.86–0.93), and 0.98 (0.93–1.03) at 30 days after the booster dose. The inhibition effect continued to exist until the booster dose 1 year later, and such a persistent inhibition effect was almost attenuated for poliovirus types 1 and 3, and partly reduced for type 2 at 30 days after the booster dose. Conclusion: A wider interval between the four sIPV doses might be a consideration for reducing the effect of maternal antibodies and subsequently eliciting and maintaining higher antibody levels to protect against poliovirus transmission and infection at the final stage of polio eradication in the global world. This study’s clinical trial registry number is NCT04224519. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Vaccines and Antimicrobial Therapy)
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17 pages, 1237 KiB  
Review
Co-Administration of Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccines: Policy Review and Vaccination Coverage Trends in the European Union, UK, US, and Canada between 2019 and 2023
by Roel C. A. Achterbergh, Ian McGovern and Mendel Haag
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020216 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Recommending co-administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines has emerged as a strategy to enhance vaccination coverage. This study describes the policy on co-administration and uptake of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada between 2019 and [...] Read more.
Recommending co-administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines has emerged as a strategy to enhance vaccination coverage. This study describes the policy on co-administration and uptake of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada between 2019 and 2023. We collected co-administration policy data from governmental websites, national health organizations, and newspapers. Influenza vaccination coverage among persons ≥65 years and COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates among persons ≥60 years or the general population were collected using national databases, the ECDC database, or ourworldindata.org between 2019 and 2023. Descriptive analyses were used. We collected data from 30/32 (94%) countries on vaccination policy in seasons 2021–2022 and 2022–2023, with most countries (25/30 to 30/30) having policies recommending co-administration. For influenza vaccination coverage, we collected data from 29/32 (91%, 2019–2020), 28/32 (88%, 2020–2021), 27/32 (84%, 2021–2022), and 6/32 (19%, 2022–2023) countries. COVID-19 vaccination was collected from 32/32 (2020–2021), 31/32 (97%, 2021–2022), and 24/32 (75%, 2022–2023) countries. Influenza vaccination coverage increased from 2019–2020 to 2021–2022. COVID-19 vaccination coverage was higher among countries with higher influenza vaccination coverage. By 2022–2023, all countries included implemented a policy supporting co-administration. A positive correlation existed between higher influenza vaccination coverage and higher COVID-19 vaccination rates. Full article
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12 pages, 1478 KiB  
Article
The Chimeric Chaoyang-Zika Vaccine Candidate Is Safe and Protective in Mice
by Hao-Long Dong, Zhi-Li Chen, Mei-Juan He, Jia-Zhen Cui, Hao Cheng, Qing-Yang Wang, Xiang-Hua Xiong, Gang Liu and Hui-Peng Chen
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020215 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 831
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging flavivirus that causes congenital syndromes including microcephaly and fetal demise in pregnant women. No commercial vaccines against ZIKV are currently available. We previously generated a chimeric ZIKV (ChinZIKV) based on the Chaoyang virus (CYV) by replacing the [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging flavivirus that causes congenital syndromes including microcephaly and fetal demise in pregnant women. No commercial vaccines against ZIKV are currently available. We previously generated a chimeric ZIKV (ChinZIKV) based on the Chaoyang virus (CYV) by replacing the prME protein of CYV with that of a contemporary ZIKV strain GZ01. Herein, we evaluated this vaccine candidate in a mouse model and showed that ChinZIKV was totally safe in both adult and suckling immunodeficient mice. No viral RNA was detected in the serum of mice inoculated with ChinZIKV. All of the mice inoculated with ChinZIKV survived, while mice inoculated with ZIKV succumbed to infection in 8 days. A single dose of ChinZIKV partially protected mice against lethal ZIKV challenge. In contrast, all the control PBS-immunized mice succumbed to infection after ZIKV challenge. Our results warrant further development of ChinZIKV as a vaccine candidate in clinical trials. Full article
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17 pages, 3482 KiB  
Article
Impaired IgM Memory B Cell Function Is Common in Coeliac Disease but Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccination Induces Robust Protective Immunity
by Olivia G. Moscatelli, Amy K. Russell, Lee M. Henneken, Melinda Y. Hardy, Nadia Mazarakis, Rachel Higgins, Jesse Ekin, Harry McLeod, Paul Simkin, Paul V. Licciardi, Vanessa L. Bryant and Jason A. Tye-Din
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020214 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1929
Abstract
Coeliac disease (CD) is associated with hyposplenism, an acquired impairment of spleen function associated with reduced IgM memory B cells and increased susceptibility to serious pneumococcal infection. Little is known about the immune implications of hyposplenism in CD or the optimal pneumococcal vaccination [...] Read more.
Coeliac disease (CD) is associated with hyposplenism, an acquired impairment of spleen function associated with reduced IgM memory B cells and increased susceptibility to serious pneumococcal infection. Little is known about the immune implications of hyposplenism in CD or the optimal pneumococcal vaccination strategy. In this study, the immune effects of hyposplenism in CD, and the accuracy of screening approaches and protective responses induced by two different pneumococcal vaccines were examined. Active and treated CD cohorts, and healthy and surgically splenectomised controls underwent testing for the presence of Howell–Jolly bodies and pitted red cells, spleen ultrasound, and immune assessment of IgM memory B cell frequency and IgM memory B cell responses to T cell-dependent (TD) or T cell-independent (TI) stimulation. Responses following conjugate (TD) and polysaccharide (TI) pneumococcal vaccination were compared using ELISA and opsonophagocytic assays. Although hyposplenism is rare in treated CD (5.1%), functional B cell defects are common (28–61%) and are not detected by current clinical tests. Conjugate pneumococcal vaccination induced superior and sustained protection against clinically relevant serotypes. Clinical practice guidelines in CD should recommend routine pneumococcal vaccination, ideally with a conjugate vaccine, of all patients in lieu of hyposplenism screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Vaccine Research in AustralAsia)
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17 pages, 1240 KiB  
Review
Bacterial Vaccinations in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
by Dóra Paróczai, Katalin Burian and Andras Bikov
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020213 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1520
Abstract
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a frequent, often progressive, chronic disease of the lungs. Patients with COPD often have impaired immunity; therefore, they are prone to chest infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Acute exacerbations of COPD are major events that accelerate [...] Read more.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a frequent, often progressive, chronic disease of the lungs. Patients with COPD often have impaired immunity; therefore, they are prone to chest infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Acute exacerbations of COPD are major events that accelerate disease progression, contributing to its symptoms’ burden, morbidity, and mortality. Both pneumonia and acute exacerbations in COPD are caused by bacteria against which there are effective vaccinations. Although the number of randomised controlled studies on bacterial vaccinations in COPD is limited, national and international guidelines endorse specific vaccinations in patients with COPD. This review will summarise the different types of vaccinations that prevent pneumonia and COPD exacerbations. We also discuss the results of early phase studies. We will mainly focus on Streptococcus pneumoniae, as this bacterium was predominantly investigated in COPD. However, we also review studies investigating vaccinations against Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Bordetella pertussis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination: Feature Review Papers)
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15 pages, 305 KiB  
Review
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea: Insights and Progress on Vaccines
by Jung-Eun Park
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020212 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a swine-wasting disease caused by coronavirus infection. It causes great economic damage to the swine industry worldwide. Despite the continued use of vaccines, PED outbreaks continue, highlighting the need to review the effectiveness of current vaccines and develop [...] Read more.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a swine-wasting disease caused by coronavirus infection. It causes great economic damage to the swine industry worldwide. Despite the continued use of vaccines, PED outbreaks continue, highlighting the need to review the effectiveness of current vaccines and develop additional vaccines based on new platforms. Here, we review existing vaccine technologies for preventing PED and highlight promising technologies that may help control PED virus in the future. Full article
14 pages, 588 KiB  
Article
Vaccine Effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 Infection during the Circulation of Alpha, Delta, or Omicron Variants: A Retrospective Cohort Study in a Tertiary Hospital in Serbia
by Danijela Đurić-Petković, Vesna Šuljagić, Vesna Begović-Kuprešanin, Nemanja Rančić and Vladimir Nikolić
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020211 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid vaccine development and deployment worldwide. Despite widespread vaccination efforts, understanding the effectiveness of vaccines in hospitalized patients remains a critical concern. This retrospective cohort study, conducted at a tertiary healthcare centre in Serbia, tracked patients hospitalized during different [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid vaccine development and deployment worldwide. Despite widespread vaccination efforts, understanding the effectiveness of vaccines in hospitalized patients remains a critical concern. This retrospective cohort study, conducted at a tertiary healthcare centre in Serbia, tracked patients hospitalized during different waves of COVID-19 variants—Alpha, Delta, and Omicron. Data collection included demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, and vaccination status. Among 3593 patients, those with prior exposure to COVID-19 cases or hospital treatment showed higher positivity rates. Symptom prevalence varied across waves, with coughs persisting. Patients without chronic diseases were more frequent among those testing negative. Vaccine effectiveness varied, with Sinopharm demonstrating a 45.6% effectiveness initially and Pfizer-BioNTech showing an effectiveness of up to 74.8% within 0–84 days after the second dose. Mixed-dose strategies, notably Sinopharm as a primary dose followed by a Pfizer-BioNTech booster, suggested increased protection. Despite substantial vaccination availability, a significant portion of hospitalized patients remained unvaccinated. This study underscores the dynamic nature of vaccine effectiveness and advocates for booster strategies to address evolving challenges in combating COVID-19, particularly in hospitalized patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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13 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Clinical Safety of the Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo Ebola Vaccines: A Prospective, Multi-Country, Observational Study
by Adeep Puri, Andrew J. Pollard, Catherine Schmidt-Mutter, Fabrice Lainé, George PrayGod, Hannah Kibuuka, Houreratou Barry, Jean-François Nicolas, Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, Sodiomon Bienvenu Sirima, Beatrice Kamala, Daniela Manno, Deborah Watson-Jones, Auguste Gaddah, Babajide Keshinro, Kerstin Luhn, Cynthia Robinson and Macaya Douoguih
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020210 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
In this prospective, observational study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02661464), long-term safety information was collected from participants previously exposed to the Ebola vaccines Ad26.ZEBOV and/or MVA-BN-Filo while enrolled in phase 1, 2, or 3 clinical studies. The study was conducted at 15 sites in seven [...] Read more.
In this prospective, observational study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02661464), long-term safety information was collected from participants previously exposed to the Ebola vaccines Ad26.ZEBOV and/or MVA-BN-Filo while enrolled in phase 1, 2, or 3 clinical studies. The study was conducted at 15 sites in seven countries (Burkina Faso, France, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Adult participants and offspring from vaccinated female participants who became pregnant (estimated conception ≤28 days after vaccination with MVA-BN-Filo or ≤3 months after vaccination with Ad26.ZEBOV) were enrolled. Adults were followed for 60 months after their first vaccination, and children born to female participants were followed for 60 months after birth. In the full analysis set (n = 614 adults; median age [range]: 32.0 [18–65] years), 49 (8.0%) had ≥1 serious adverse event (SAE); the incidence rate of any SAE was 27.4 per 1000 person-years (95% confidence interval: 21.0, 35.2). The unrelated SAEs of malaria were reported in the two infants in the full analysis set, aged 11 and 18 months; both episodes were resolved. No deaths or life-threatening SAEs occurred during the study. Overall, no major safety issues were identified; one related SAE was reported. These findings support the long-term clinical safety of the Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo vaccines. Full article
19 pages, 3363 KiB  
Article
Serum SARM1 Levels and Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in Type 2 Diabetes: Correlation with Clinical Neuropathy Scales and Nerve Conduction Studies and Impact of COVID-19 vaccination
by Moafaq S. Alrawaili, Ahmad R. Abuzinadah, Aysha A. AlShareef, Emad A. Hindi, Ahmed K. Bamaga, Weam Alshora and Hashim Sindi
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020209 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 938
Abstract
Patients with peripheral neuropathy with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are more likely to have functional impairments. Recently, the gene for serum sterile alpha and toll/interleukin receptor motif-containing protein 1 (SARM1), which may contribute to the pathogenesis of Wallerian degeneration, was discovered in [...] Read more.
Patients with peripheral neuropathy with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are more likely to have functional impairments. Recently, the gene for serum sterile alpha and toll/interleukin receptor motif-containing protein 1 (SARM1), which may contribute to the pathogenesis of Wallerian degeneration, was discovered in mice models of peripheral neuropathy. We set out to assess serum SARM1’s activity as a potential biomarker for the early identification of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in T2DM patients while also examining the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on SARM1 levels. We assessed the cross-sectional relationships between the SARM1 biomarker, clinical neuropathy scales, and nerve conduction parameters in 80 participants aged between 30 years and 60 years. The analysis was carried out after the patients were split into two groups since we discovered a significant increase in SARM1 levels following the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, where group A received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine inoculation, and group B received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. SARM1 was correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with MNSIe and NSS in group A and showed a consistent positive correlation with the other neuropathy clinical scales in group A and group B without reaching statistical significance. Additionally, SARM1 was negatively correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with the median sensory amplitude in group A and showed a consistent negative correlation with the six other sensory and motor nerves’ potential amplitude in group A and group B without reaching statistical significance. In conclusion, SARM1 showed a consistent correlation with clinical neuropathy scales and nerve conduction parameters after accounting for the influence of COVID-19 vaccination doses. Full article
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20 pages, 5531 KiB  
Article
IgG Subclass Switch in Volunteers Repeatedly Immunized with the Full-Length Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein 1 (MSP1)
by Veronika Rathay, Kristin Fürle, Viktoria Kiehl, Anne Ulmer, Michael Lanzer and Richard Thomson-Luque
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020208 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Vaccines are highly effective tools against infectious diseases and are also considered necessary in the fight against malaria. Vaccine-induced immunity is frequently mediated by antibodies. We have recently conducted a first-in-human clinical trial featuring SumayaVac-1, a malaria vaccine based on the recombinant, full-length [...] Read more.
Vaccines are highly effective tools against infectious diseases and are also considered necessary in the fight against malaria. Vaccine-induced immunity is frequently mediated by antibodies. We have recently conducted a first-in-human clinical trial featuring SumayaVac-1, a malaria vaccine based on the recombinant, full-length merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1FL) formulated with GLA-SE as an adjuvant. Vaccination with MSP1FL was safe and elicited sustainable IgG antibody titers that exceeded those observed in semi-immune populations from Africa. Moreover, IgG antibodies stimulated various Fc-mediated effector mechanisms associated with protection against malaria. However, these functionalities gradually waned. Here, we show that the initial two doses of SumayaVac-1 primarily induced the cytophilic subclasses IgG1 and IgG3. Unexpectedly, a shift in the IgG subclass composition occurred following the third and fourth vaccinations. Specifically, there was a progressive transition to IgG4 antibodies, which displayed a reduced capacity to engage in Fc-mediated effector functions and also exhibited increased avidity. In summary, our analysis of antibody responses to MSP1FL vaccination unveils a temporal shift towards noninflammatory IgG4 antibodies. These findings underscore the importance of considering the impact of IgG subclass composition on vaccine-induced immunity, particularly concerning Fc-mediated effector functions. This knowledge is pivotal in guiding the design of optimal vaccination strategies against malaria, informing decision making for future endeavors in this critical field. Full article
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13 pages, 2365 KiB  
Article
A Polyclonal Antibody against a Burkholderia cenocepacia OmpA-like Protein Strongly Impairs Pseudomonas aeruginosa and B. multivorans Virulence
by António M. M. Seixas, Sara C. Gomes, Carolina Silva, Leonilde M. Moreira, Jorge H. Leitão and Sílvia A. Sousa
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020207 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Despite advances in therapies, bacterial chronic respiratory infections persist as life-threatening to patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Pseudomonas aeruginosa and bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia complex are among the most difficult of these infections to treat, due to factors like their resistance [...] Read more.
Despite advances in therapies, bacterial chronic respiratory infections persist as life-threatening to patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Pseudomonas aeruginosa and bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia complex are among the most difficult of these infections to treat, due to factors like their resistance to multiple antibiotics and ability to form biofilms. The lack of effective antimicrobial strategies prompted our search for alternative immunotherapies that can effectively control and reduce those infections among CF patients. Previous work from our group showed that the anti-BCAL2645 goat polyclonal antibody strongly inhibited Burkholderia cenocepacia to adhere and invade cultured epithelial cells. In this work, we showed that the polyclonal antibody anti-BCAL2645 also strongly inhibited the ability of P. aeruginosa to form biofilms, and to adhere and invade the human bronchial epithelial cell line CFBE41o-. The polyclonal antibody also inhibited, to a lesser extent, the ability of B. multivorans to adhere and invade the human bronchial epithelial cell line CFBE41o. We also show that the ability of B. cenocepacia, P. aeruginosa and B. multivorans to kill larvae of the Galleria mellonella model of infection was impaired when bacteria were incubated with the anti-BCAL2645 antibody prior to the infection. Our findings show that an antibody against BCAL2645 possesses a significant potential for the development of new immunotherapies against these three important bacterial species capable of causing devastating and often lethal infections among CF patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Therapeutic Vaccines and Antibody Therapeutics)
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12 pages, 766 KiB  
Article
Immunity from NK Cell Subsets Is Important for Vaccine-Mediated Protection in HPV+ Cancers
by Madison P. O’Hara, Ananta V. Yanamandra and K. Jagannadha Sastry
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020206 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are associated with genital and oral cancers, and the incidence of HPV+ head and neck squamous cell cancers is fast increasing in the USA and worldwide. Survival rates for patients with locally advanced disease are poor after standard-of-care chemoradiation [...] Read more.
High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are associated with genital and oral cancers, and the incidence of HPV+ head and neck squamous cell cancers is fast increasing in the USA and worldwide. Survival rates for patients with locally advanced disease are poor after standard-of-care chemoradiation treatment. Identifying the antitumor host immune mediators important for treatment response and designing strategies to promote them are essential. We reported earlier that in a syngeneic immunocompetent preclinical HPV tumor mouse model, intranasal immunization with an HPV peptide therapeutic vaccine containing the combination of aGalCer and CpG-ODN adjuvants (TVAC) promoted clearance of HPV vaginal tumors via induction of a strong cytotoxic T cell response. However, TVAC was insufficient in the clearance of HPV oral tumors. To overcome this deficiency, we tested substituting aGalCer with a clinically relevant adjuvant QS21 (TVQC) and observed sustained, complete regression of over 70% of oral and 80% of vaginal HPV tumors. The TVQC-mediated protection in the oral tumor model correlated with not only strong total and HPV-antigen-specific CD8 T cells, but also natural killer dendritic cells (NKDCs), a novel subset of NK cells expressing the DC marker CD11c. Notably, we observed induction of significantly higher overall innate NK effector responses by TVQC relative to TVAC. Furthermore, in mice treated with TVQC, the frequencies of total and functional CD11c+ NK cell populations were significantly higher than the CD11c− subset, highlighting the importance of the contributions of NKDCs to the vaccine response. These results emphasize the importance of NK-mediated innate immune effector responses in total antitumor immunity to treat HPV+ cancers. Full article
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13 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Genital and Oral HPV Geno-Prevalence Measured through Urine and Saliva Samples in Young Adults in Italy
by Francesco Napolitano, Silvia Angelillo, Aida Bianco, Gabriella Di Giuseppe, Valeria Di Onofrio, Francesca Licata, Giorgio Liguori, Carmelo Giuseppe Angelo Nobile, Maria Pavia, Concetta Paola Pelullo, Federica Zito Marino and Italo Francesco Angelillo
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020205 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Background: The aims of the study were to determine, in the urine and oral samples of young adults, the genotype-specific prevalence of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, the HPV DNA type-specific prevalence in unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, and the determinants of HPV infection. [...] Read more.
Background: The aims of the study were to determine, in the urine and oral samples of young adults, the genotype-specific prevalence of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, the HPV DNA type-specific prevalence in unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, and the determinants of HPV infection. Methods: Selected participants were asked to fill in a self-administered questionnaire and to self-collect urine and saliva samples. Results: Among the 1002 participants, 81 (8.1%) resulted positive for HPV DNA. The most common low-risk genotype was HPV 42 (2.2%), followed by HPV 43 (0.8%), and 40 (0.5%). The HPV 51 was the most common high-risk genotype (1.5%) followed by HPV 66 (1%) and HPV 68 (1%), and no participants were infected with HPV genotypes 18, 33, 45. Females, those who have had one or more occasional sexual partner, those who never/rarely/sometimes used condoms during their sexual activity, those with a previous diagnosis of sexually transmitted infection, and those who were not vaccinated were more likely to be tested positive for HPV infection. Conclusions: The low prevalence of genital HPV infections has provided evidence of the effectiveness of HPV vaccination both in vaccinated and not yet vaccinated subjects through herd immunity and indicated its decisive role in the changing epidemiology of circulating HPV genotypes in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Papillomavirus Vaccines)
16 pages, 757 KiB  
Review
The Shifting Epidemiology of Hepatitis A in the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region
by Nina G. Gloriani, Sheriah Laine M. de Paz-Silava, Robert D. Allison, Yoshihiro Takashima and Tigran Avagyan
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020204 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Within the past few decades, improvement in sanitation and economic growth has driven a changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this review, we gathered available published information on hepatitis A epidemiology [...] Read more.
Within the past few decades, improvement in sanitation and economic growth has driven a changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this review, we gathered available published information on hepatitis A epidemiology of the countries in the WPR and reviewed the trends reported in the literature from the years 2000 to 2021. Many countries have shifted from high endemicity to low endemicity. Moreover, the administration of the hepatitis A vaccine among children in recent years has shifted disease susceptibility to the older population. Seroprevalence among children has decreased in most countries, while nearly 100% seropositivity is seen in mid adulthood. This is contrary to the epidemiology seen in previous decades when most children achieved immunity by age ten. This also presents a paradox in that better living conditions have caused more vulnerability to the older age groups who are at higher risk for severe disease. Given these trends, we recommend vaccination of vulnerable populations such as the older age groups and inclusion of the hepatitis A vaccine in government immunization programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HBV and HCV Infection in Children and Adolescents)
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15 pages, 1312 KiB  
Article
Antibody-Dependent Respiratory Burst against Plasmodium falciparum Merozoites in Individuals Living in an Area with Declining Malaria Transmission
by Doreen D. Mutemi, James Tuju, Rodney Ogwang, Lydia Nyamako, Kennedy M. Wambui, Ivette R. Cruz, Pär Villner, Victor Yman, Samson M. Kinyanjui, Ingegerd Rooth, Billy Ngasala, Anna Färnert and Faith H. A. Osier
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020203 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Malaria transmission intensity affects the development of naturally acquired immunity to malaria. An absolute correlate measure of protection against malaria is lacking. However, antibody-mediated functions against Plasmodium falciparum correlate with protection against malaria. In children, antibody-mediated functions against P. falciparum decline with reduced [...] Read more.
Malaria transmission intensity affects the development of naturally acquired immunity to malaria. An absolute correlate measure of protection against malaria is lacking. However, antibody-mediated functions against Plasmodium falciparum correlate with protection against malaria. In children, antibody-mediated functions against P. falciparum decline with reduced exposure. It is unclear whether adults maintain antibody-mediated functions as malaria transmission declines. This study assessed antibody-dependent respiratory burst (ADRB) in individuals from an area with declining malaria transmission. In an age-matched analysis, we compare ADRB activity during high versus low malaria transmission periods. Age significantly predicted higher ADRB activity in the high (p < 0.001) and low (p < 0.001) malaria transmission periods. ADRB activity was higher during the high compared to the low malaria transmission period in older children and adults. Only older adults during the high malaria transmission period had their median ADRB activity above the ADRB cut-off. Ongoing P. falciparum infection influenced ADRB activity during the low (p = 0.01) but not the high (p = 0.29) malaria transmission period. These findings propose that naturally acquired immunity to P. falciparum is affected in children and adults as malaria transmission declines, implying that vaccines will be necessary to induce and maintain protection against malaria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Malaria Vaccine Development)
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12 pages, 522 KiB  
Article
Safety and Tolerability of COVID-19 Vaccine in Mast Cell Disorders Real-Life Data from a Single Centre in Italy
by Stefania Nicola, Marina Mazzola, Luca Lo Sardo, Erika Montabone, Iuliana Badiu, Federica Corradi, Maria Carmen Rita Azzolina, Maurizio Gaspare Dall’Acqua, Giovanni Rolla, Irene Ridolfi, Anna Quinternetto and Luisa Brussino
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020202 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Background In the past three years, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the healthcare systems and people’s safety worldwide. Mass vaccinations dramatically improved the health and economic damage caused by SARS-CoV-2. However, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in patients at high risk [...] Read more.
Background In the past three years, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the healthcare systems and people’s safety worldwide. Mass vaccinations dramatically improved the health and economic damage caused by SARS-CoV-2. However, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in patients at high risk of allergic reactions still has many unmet needs that should be clarified. Material and methods A retrospective, single-centre study was performed by collecting demographic and clinical data of patients with Mast Cell Disorders (MCDs) to evaluate the safety and tolerability of COVID-19 vaccinations. Moreover, any changes in the natural history of the underlying disease following the vaccine have been evaluated. Results This study included 66 patients affected with MCDs. Out of them, 52 (78.8%) received a COVID-19 vaccination and 41 (78.8%) completed the vaccination course. Premedication came first in 86.6% of our patients. A total of seven (4.5%) patients complained about an immediate reaction and two (1.3%) had a late reaction. Worsening of MCD history was observed in a single patient. Conclusions Despite the overall high risk of allergic reactions, our study did not reveal any increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 allergic reactions in MCD patients, thus supporting the recommendation in favour of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. However, due to the potentially increased rate of anaphylactic reactions, MCD patients should receive vaccine premedication and should be treated in a hospital setting after an allergological specialistic evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Understanding of Immune Response after COVID-19 Vaccination)
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9 pages, 1221 KiB  
Perspective
A Practical Guide to Full Value of Vaccine Assessments
by Caroline Trotter, Birgitte Giersing, Ann Lindstrand, Naor Bar-Zeev, Tania Cernuschi, Lauren Franzel-Sassanpour, Martin Friede, Joachim Hombach, Maarten Jansen, Mateusz Hasso-Agopsowicz, Mitsuki Koh, So Yoon Sim, Dijana Spasenoska, Karene Hoi Ting Yeung and Philipp Lambach
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020201 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Articulating the wide range of health, social and economic benefits that vaccines offer may help to overcome obstacles in the vaccine development pipeline. A framework to guide the assessment and communication of the value of a vaccine—the Full Value of Vaccine Assessment (FVVA)—has [...] Read more.
Articulating the wide range of health, social and economic benefits that vaccines offer may help to overcome obstacles in the vaccine development pipeline. A framework to guide the assessment and communication of the value of a vaccine—the Full Value of Vaccine Assessment (FVVA)—has been developed by the WHO. The FVVA framework offers a holistic assessment of the value of vaccines, providing a synthesis of evidence to inform the public health need of a vaccine, describing the supply and demand aspects, its market and its impact from a health, financial and economic perspective. This paper provides a practical guide to how FVVAs are developed and used to support investment in vaccines, ultimately leading to sustained implementation in countries. The FVVA includes a range of elements that can be broadly categorised as synthesis, vaccine development narrative and defining vaccine impact and value. Depending on the features of the disease/vaccine in question, different elements may be emphasised; however, a standardised set of elements is recommended for each FVVA. The FVVA should be developed by an expert group who represent a range of stakeholders, perspectives and geographies and ensure a fair, coherent and evidence-based assessment of vaccine value. Full article
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14 pages, 1135 KiB  
Review
Edible Plant-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Oral mRNA Vaccine Delivery
by Chiara Gai, Margherita Alba Carlotta Pomatto, Maria Chiara Deregibus, Marco Dieci, Alessandro Piga and Giovanni Camussi
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020200 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1269
Abstract
Nucleic acid delivery through extracellular vesicles (EVs) is a well-preserved evolutionary mechanism in all life kingdoms including eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and plants. EVs naturally allow horizontal transfer of native as well as exogenous functional mRNAs, which once incorporated in EVs are protected from enzymatic [...] Read more.
Nucleic acid delivery through extracellular vesicles (EVs) is a well-preserved evolutionary mechanism in all life kingdoms including eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and plants. EVs naturally allow horizontal transfer of native as well as exogenous functional mRNAs, which once incorporated in EVs are protected from enzymatic degradation. This observation has prompted researchers to investigate whether EVs from different sources, including plants, could be used for vaccine delivery. Several studies using human or bacterial EVs expressing mRNA or recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins showed induction of a humoral and cell mediated immune response. Moreover, EV-based vaccines presenting the natural configuration of viral antigens have demonstrated advantages in conferring long-lasting immunization and lower toxicity than synthetic nanoparticles. Edible plant-derived EVs were shown to be an alternative to human EVs for vaccine delivery, especially via oral administration. EVs obtained from orange juice (oEVs) loaded with SARS-CoV-2 mRNAs protected their cargo from enzymatic degradation, were stable at room temperature for one year, and were able to trigger a SARS-CoV-2 immune response in mice. Lyophilized oEVs containing the S1 mRNA administered to rats via gavage induced a specific humoral immune response with generation of blocking antibodies, including IgA and Th1 lymphocyte activation. In conclusion, mRNA-containing oEVs could be used for developing new oral vaccines due to optimal mucosal absorption, resistance to stress conditions, and ability to stimulate a humoral and cellular immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Oral Vaccine Development)
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17 pages, 1978 KiB  
Article
Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccination in Frontline Healthcare Workers
by Birute Strukcinskiene, Zydre Valotkiene, Jonas Jurgaitis, Rasa Grigoliene and Agnieszka Genowska
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020199 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 823
Abstract
This study evaluated the immune response to vaccination against COVID-19 in 534 healthcare frontline workers in Vilnius, Lithuania. The incidence of COVID-19 was reduced significantly after vaccination started in the healthcare sector. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in groups V–VII and this level of [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the immune response to vaccination against COVID-19 in 534 healthcare frontline workers in Vilnius, Lithuania. The incidence of COVID-19 was reduced significantly after vaccination started in the healthcare sector. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in groups V–VII and this level of antibodies was found to be effective in preventing COVID-19. Sustained immune response was achieved after two vaccination doses, which remained stable for up to 6 months. After the booster dose, antibody levels remained high for an additional 12 months. Although SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels decreased after 6 months, even lower levels of antibodies provided protection against the Delta strain. The booster dose distributed the antibody titer in the high-level antibody groups, offering maximum protection at 12 months. However, even individuals with high antibody titers were observed to contract COVID-19 after vaccination with a booster dose and 6 months in the presence of the Omicron strain. Unfortunately, high levels of antibodies did not provide protection against the new strain of COVID-19 (the Omicron variant), posing a risk of infection. When comparing the antibody titer of vaccinated participants without COVID-19 and those with COVID-19, the change in antibodies after vaccination was significantly lower in infected participants. Individuals with comorbidities and specific conditions had lower antibody levels. Full article
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14 pages, 1847 KiB  
Article
Polymeric Nanoparticles as Oral and Intranasal Peptide Vaccine Delivery Systems: The Role of Shape and Conjugation
by Prashamsa Koirala, Ahmed O. Shalash, Sung-Po R. Chen, Mohammad O. Faruck, Jingwen Wang, Waleed M. Hussein, Zeinab G. Khalil, Robert J. Capon, Michael J. Monteiro, Istvan Toth and Mariusz Skwarczynski
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020198 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 878
Abstract
Mucosal vaccines are highly attractive due to high patient compliance and their suitability for mass immunizations. However, all currently licensed mucosal vaccines are composed of attenuated/inactive whole microbes, which are associated with a variety of safety concerns. In contrast, modern subunit vaccines use [...] Read more.
Mucosal vaccines are highly attractive due to high patient compliance and their suitability for mass immunizations. However, all currently licensed mucosal vaccines are composed of attenuated/inactive whole microbes, which are associated with a variety of safety concerns. In contrast, modern subunit vaccines use minimal pathogenic components (antigens) that are safe but typically poorly immunogenic when delivered via mucosal administration. In this study, we demonstrated the utility of various functional polymer-based nanostructures as vaccine carriers. A Group A Streptococcus (GAS)-derived peptide antigen (PJ8) was selected in light of the recent global spread of invasive GAS infection. The vaccine candidates were prepared by either conjugation or physical mixing of PJ8 with rod-, sphere-, worm-, and tadpole-shaped polymeric nanoparticles. The roles of nanoparticle shape and antigen conjugation in vaccine immunogenicity were demonstrated through the comparison of three distinct immunization pathways (subcutaneous, intranasal, and oral). No additional adjuvant or carrier was required to induce bactericidal immune responses even upon oral vaccine administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Vaccine Research in AustralAsia)
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14 pages, 261 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Vaccine Strategies for Chronic Liver Disease Patients: Navigating Post-COVID Challenges and Opportunities
by Samer Al-Dury and Nelly Kanberg
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020197 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1212
Abstract
This review addresses the vital role of vaccinations in managing patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), especially in the context of the post-COVID-19 landscape. The pandemic has highlighted the unique vulnerabilities of CLD patients, including those awaiting liver transplantation and post-transplant individuals, who [...] Read more.
This review addresses the vital role of vaccinations in managing patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), especially in the context of the post-COVID-19 landscape. The pandemic has highlighted the unique vulnerabilities of CLD patients, including those awaiting liver transplantation and post-transplant individuals, who face heightened risks of infection due to compromised immune responses. Recent advancements in vaccine technology, such as mRNA platforms, novel adjuvants, and advanced delivery systems, have significantly accelerated vaccine development, enhancing both speed and efficacy. Moreover, the emergence of personalized vaccines, tailored to everyone’s unique immunological profile, presents new opportunities, particularly for those with chronic conditions. This review synthesizes the current state of evidence regarding vaccine recommendations for CLD patients, focusing on their response to vaccinations and proposing effective strategies to protect this vulnerable group from vaccine-preventable diseases. It also explores the challenges in implementing these strategies and considers the impact of emerging vaccine delivery systems on improving outcomes for CLD patients. The paper aims to provide nuanced guidance on vaccination in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, addressing both technological innovations and comprehensive patient care strategies. Full article
11 pages, 838 KiB  
Project Report
Key Learnings from the Development and Early Use of Global Guidance on the Integration of COVID-19 Vaccination into Broader Health Systems
by Ibrahim Dadari, Alba Vilajeliu, Viorica Berdaga, Shalini Rozario, Phoebe Meyer, Laura Nic Lochlainn, Dirk Horemans, Nuria Toro, Gloria Lihemo, Sanjay Bhardwaj, Peter Cowley, Diana Chang Blanc, Florence Conteh-Nordman, Imran Mirza, Shahira Malm, Ida Marie Ameda and Ann Lindstrand
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020196 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 957
Abstract
More than 13.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses were delivered between 2021 and 2023 through a mix of delivery platforms, with mass vaccination campaigns being the main approach. In 2022, with the continued circulation of SARS-CoV2 and the need for periodic boosters being most [...] Read more.
More than 13.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses were delivered between 2021 and 2023 through a mix of delivery platforms, with mass vaccination campaigns being the main approach. In 2022, with the continued circulation of SARS-CoV2 and the need for periodic boosters being most likely, countries were required to plan for more sustainable approaches to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. In this context of uncertainty, a global tool for integrating COVID-19 vaccines into immunization programs and as part of broader health systems was published jointly by the WHO and UNICEF to respond to country needs. This paper summarizes the approach to, and lessons learned during, the development of a global guidance document and describes some examples of its early use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The guidance leveraged existing health system frameworks, proposed four steps for planning and implementing the COVID-19 vaccination integration journey, and identified investment areas. The development process maximized robust global stakeholder and country engagement, and the timeframe was aligned with donor funding windows to support countries with the integration of COVID-19 vaccination. The rapid dissemination of the guidance document allowed countries to ascertain their readiness for integrating COVID-19 vaccination and inform the development of national plans and funding applications. While progress has been made in specific areas (e.g., optimizing cold chain and logistics leveraging COVID-19 vaccination), in the context of decreasing demand for COVID-19 vaccines, reaching adult COVID-19 vaccine high-priority-use groups and engaging and coordinating with other health programs (beyond immunization) remain challenges, particularly in LMICs. We share the learning that despite the uncertainties of a pandemic, guidance documents can be developed and used within a short timeframe. Working in partnership with stakeholders within and beyond immunization towards a common objective is powerful and can allow progress to be made in terms of integrating health services and better preparing for future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promoting Vaccination in the Post-COVID-19 Era)
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11 pages, 242 KiB  
Perspective
Measuring Zero-Dose Children: Reflections on Age Cohort Flexibilities for Targeted Immunization Surveys at the Local Level
by Gustavo C. Corrêa, Md. Jasim Uddin, Tasnuva Wahed, Elizabeth Oliveras, Christopher Morgan, Moses R. Kamya, Patience Kabatangare, Faith Namugaya, Dorothy Leab, Didier Adjakidje, Patrick Nguku, Adam Attahiru, Jenny Sequeira, Nancy Vollmer and Heidi W. Reynolds
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020195 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Zero-dose (ZD) children is a critical objective in global health, and it is at the heart of the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) strategy. Coverage for the first dose of diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP1)-containing vaccine is the global operational indicator used to estimate ZD children. When [...] Read more.
Zero-dose (ZD) children is a critical objective in global health, and it is at the heart of the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) strategy. Coverage for the first dose of diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP1)-containing vaccine is the global operational indicator used to estimate ZD children. When surveys are used, DTP1 coverage estimates usually rely on information reported from caregivers of children aged 12–23 months. It is important to have a global definition of ZD children, but learning and operational needs at a country level may require different ZD measurement approaches. This article summarizes a recent workshop discussion on ZD measurement for targeted surveys at local levels related to flexibilities in age cohorts of inclusion from the ZD learning Hub (ZDLH) initiative—a learning initiative involving 5 consortia of 14 different organizations across 4 countries—Bangladesh, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda—and a global learning partner. Those considerations may include the need to generate insights on immunization timeliness and on catch-up activities, made particularly relevant in the post-pandemic context; the need to compare results across different age cohort years to better identify systematically missed communities and validate programmatic priorities, and also generate insights on changes under dynamic contexts such as the introduction of a new ZD intervention or for recovering from the impact of health system shocks. Some practical considerations such as the potential need for a larger sample size when including comparisons across multiple cohort years but a potential reduction in the need for household visits to find eligible children, an increase in recall bias when older age groups are included and a reduction in recall bias for the first year of life, and a potential reduction in sample size needs and time needed to detect impact when the first year of life is included. Finally, the inclusion of the first year of life cohort in the survey may be particularly relevant and improve the utility of evidence for decision-making and enable its use in rapid learning cycles, as insights will be generated for the population being currently targeted by the program. For some of those reasons, the ZDLH initiative decided to align on a recommendation to include the age cohort from 18 weeks to 23 months, with enough power to enable disaggregation of key results across the two different cohort years. We argue that flexibilities with the age cohort for inclusion in targeted surveys at the local level may be an important principle to be considered. More research is needed to better understand in which contexts improvements in timeliness of DTP1 in the first year of life will translate to improvements in ZD results in the age cohort of 12–23 months as defined by the global DTP1 indicator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality in Immunization 2024)
10 pages, 1343 KiB  
Case Report
Fatal Myocarditis following COVID-19 mRNA Immunization: A Case Report and Differential Diagnosis Review
by Pedro Manuel Barros de Sousa, Elon Almeida Silva, Marcos Adriano Garcia Campos, Joyce Santos Lages, Rita da Graça Carvalhal Frazão Corrêa and Gyl Eanes Barros Silva
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020194 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 18673
Abstract
Carditis in childhood is a rare disease with several etiologies. We report a case of infant death due to pericarditis and myocarditis after the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 (COVIDmRNAV). A 7-year-old male child received the first dose of the COVIDmRNAV and presented with [...] Read more.
Carditis in childhood is a rare disease with several etiologies. We report a case of infant death due to pericarditis and myocarditis after the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 (COVIDmRNAV). A 7-year-old male child received the first dose of the COVIDmRNAV and presented with monoarthritis and a fever non-responsive to oral antibiotics. The laboratory investigation showed signs of infection (leukocytosis, high levels of c-reactive protein). His condition rapidly deteriorated, and the patient died. The autopsy identified pericardial fibrin deposits, hemorrhagic areas in the myocardium, and normal valves. A diffuse intermyocardial inflammatory infiltrate composed of T CD8+ lymphocytes and histiocytes was identified. An antistreptolysin O (ASO) dosage showed high titers. The presence of arthritis, elevated ASO, and carditis fulfills the criteria for rheumatic fever. However, valve disease and Aschoff’s nodules, present in 90% of rheumatic carditis cases, were absent in this case. The temporal correlation with mRNA vaccination prompted its inclusion as one of the etiologies. In cases of myocardial damage related to COVID-19mRNAV, it appears to be related to the expression of exosomes and lipid nanoparticles, leading to a cytokine storm. The potential effects of the COVID-19mRNAV must be considered in the pathogenesis of this disease, whether as an etiology or a contributing factor to a previously initiated myocardial injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Safety and Autoimmune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination)
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17 pages, 956 KiB  
Article
Assessing a Digital Scorecard on Global Immunization Progress: Stakeholder Views and Implications for Enhancing Performance and Accountability
by Rose Weeks, Padmini Vishwanath, Katy Atkins Stewart, Christine Liang, Oniovo Efe-Aluta, Folake Olayinka, Carolyn Inae Kim, Erlyn Macarayan, Lori Niehaus, Naor Bar-Zeev and Chizoba Wonodi
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020193 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 770
Abstract
Global health agencies and regional and national stakeholders collaborated to develop the Immunization Agenda 2030 Scorecard, a digital data visualization platform displaying global, regional, and country-level immunization progress. The scorecard serves to focus attention and enable strategic actions around the measures visualized. To [...] Read more.
Global health agencies and regional and national stakeholders collaborated to develop the Immunization Agenda 2030 Scorecard, a digital data visualization platform displaying global, regional, and country-level immunization progress. The scorecard serves to focus attention and enable strategic actions around the measures visualized. To assess the scorecard’s usability, appropriateness, and context for use, we interviewed 15 immunization officers working across five global regions. To further understand the implementation context, we also reviewed the characteristics of 15 public platforms visualizing population health data. We integrated thematic findings across both methods. Many platforms highlight service gaps and enable comparisons between geographies to foster political pressure for service improvements. We observed heterogeneity regarding the platforms’ focus areas and participants’ leading concerns, which were management capacity and resourcing. Furthermore, one-third of platforms were out of date. Results yielded recommendations for the scorecard, which participants felt was well suited to focus the attention of decision makers on key immunization data. A simpler design coupled with implementation strategies that more actively engage policymakers would better align the scorecard with other public platforms engaging intended users. For population health platforms to serve as effective accountability mechanisms, studying implementation determinants, including usability testing, is vital to meet stakeholder needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Communication of Vaccination)
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16 pages, 3325 KiB  
Article
Influenza Vaccination in Children Younger than 5 Years in the Region of Murcia (Spain), a Comparative Analysis among Vaccinating and Non-Vaccinating Parents: Data from the FLUTETRA Study
by Jaime Jesús Pérez Martín, Matilde Zornoza Moreno, Francisca Isabel Tornel Miñarro, María Cruz Gómez Moreno, María del Carmen Valcárcel Gómez and Marta Pérez Martínez
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020192 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
The high burden of influenza in children has driven numerous countries towards universal vaccination of healthy children from 6 to 59 months of age. The Region of Murcia was one of the pioneer Spanish regions to conduct a universal vaccination campaign and to [...] Read more.
The high burden of influenza in children has driven numerous countries towards universal vaccination of healthy children from 6 to 59 months of age. The Region of Murcia was one of the pioneer Spanish regions to conduct a universal vaccination campaign and to use live-attenuated intranasal vaccine (LAIV) if age appropriate. This study aims to evaluate the parents’ likeliness to vaccinate their children and to compare the profile of vaccinating/non-vaccinating parents. This study was designed as a prospective, real-world, survey-based data collection in the 2022–2023 season campaign. This study’s sample was selected from those children whose information was available in the local Public Health System databases PERSAN and VACUSAN. Children received LAIV or intramuscular vaccine (IIV) depending on their age as per standard practice. The parent self-vaccination/intention to vaccinate themselves in this campaign (OR = 4.75), the compliance with the official vaccination schedule (OR = 3.41), and the prescription of antibiotics more than twice in the previous year (OR = 2.24) were strongly associated with children’s vaccination. Overall, vaccinating parents were very satisfied with the vaccine (IIV: 67.5% vs. LAIV: 68.8%, p = 0.320), and most parents would rather have their children vaccinated with LAIV for the next campaign (43.0%). The main reasons for vaccinating were to protect the child (LAIV: 85.9% vs. IIV: 89.4%), and the predominant reasons for not vaccinating were a lack of healthcare professional recommendation (30.9%), and lack of information about the vaccination campaign (21.5%) and the vaccine itself (21.0%). The clinical context of parents and children was determinant in decision making, which was also influenced by the presence or absence of recommendation by healthcare professionals. Parents were generally very satisfied with the vaccine and showed their preference towards LAIV for future campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Attitudes, Perceptions, and Behaviors)
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37 pages, 1601 KiB  
Review
Vaccine Strategies to Elicit Mucosal Immunity
by Yufeng Song, Frances Mehl and Steven L. Zeichner
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020191 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Vaccines are essential tools to prevent infection and control transmission of infectious diseases that threaten public health. Most infectious agents enter their hosts across mucosal surfaces, which make up key first lines of host defense against pathogens. Mucosal immune responses play critical roles [...] Read more.
Vaccines are essential tools to prevent infection and control transmission of infectious diseases that threaten public health. Most infectious agents enter their hosts across mucosal surfaces, which make up key first lines of host defense against pathogens. Mucosal immune responses play critical roles in host immune defense to provide durable and better recall responses. Substantial attention has been focused on developing effective mucosal vaccines to elicit robust localized and systemic immune responses by administration via mucosal routes. Mucosal vaccines that elicit effective immune responses yield protection superior to parenterally delivered vaccines. Beyond their valuable immunogenicity, mucosal vaccines can be less expensive and easier to administer without a need for injection materials and more highly trained personnel. However, developing effective mucosal vaccines faces many challenges, and much effort has been directed at their development. In this article, we review the history of mucosal vaccine development and present an overview of mucosal compartment biology and the roles that mucosal immunity plays in defending against infection, knowledge that has helped inform mucosal vaccine development. We explore new progress in mucosal vaccine design and optimization and novel approaches created to improve the efficacy and safety of mucosal vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Vaccine Characterization, Formulations, and Development)
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12 pages, 7827 KiB  
Article
Intradermal Inoculation of Inactivated Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Induced Effective Immune Responses Comparable to Conventional Intramuscular Injection in Pigs
by Simin Lee, Sameer ul Salam Mattoo, Chang-Gi Jeong, Seung-Chai Kim, Salik Nazki, Gyehan Lee, Yong-Soo Park, Sun Young Park, Myeon-Sik Yang, Bumseok Kim, Sang-Myeong Lee and Won-Il Kim
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020190 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1136
Abstract
All pigs in the Republic of Korea are given the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) vaccine intramuscularly (IM) as part of the country’s vaccination policy. However, the IM administration of the FMDV vaccine to pig results in residual vaccine components in the muscle and [...] Read more.
All pigs in the Republic of Korea are given the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) vaccine intramuscularly (IM) as part of the country’s vaccination policy. However, the IM administration of the FMDV vaccine to pig results in residual vaccine components in the muscle and undesirable changes in muscle and soft tissues, causing economic losses in swine production. In this study, we evaluated whether intradermal (ID) vaccination could be proposed as an alternative to IM administration. ID vaccination (0.2 mL on each side of the neck muscle) and IM vaccination (2 mL on each side of the neck muscle) were performed twice, separated by 14 days, using a commercial FMD vaccine in specific-pathogen-free pigs. We observed growth performance, gross and microscopic lesions at the inoculation site, FMDV-specific antibodies, and neutralizing antibodies for 35 days after vaccination. Side effects on the skin grossly appeared following ID administration, but most were reduced within two weeks. All ID-vaccinated pigs showed inflammatory lesions limited to the dermis, but IM-vaccinated pigs had abnormal undesirable changes and pus in the muscle. ID-vaccinated pigs performed comparably to IM-vaccinated pigs in terms of growth, FMD virus-specific antibodies, protection capability against FMDV, and T-cell induction. This study demonstrated that the ID inoculation of the inactivated FMD vaccine induced immune responses comparable to an IM injection at 1/10 of the inoculation dose and that the inoculation lesion was limited to the dermis, effectively protecting against the formation of abnormal undesirable changes in muscle and soft tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Animal Health)
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14 pages, 871 KiB  
Systematic Review
Impact of Pre-Infection COVID-19 Vaccination on the Incidence and Severity of Post-COVID Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Milena Adina Man, Daniela Rosca, Felix Bratosin, Ovidiu Fira-Mladinescu, Adrian Cosmin Ilie, Sonia-Roxana Burtic, Ariadna Petronela Fildan, Camelia Melania Fizedean, Adelina Maria Jianu, Rodica Anamaria Negrean and Monica Steluta Marc
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020189 - 12 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
This systematic review critically evaluated the impact of a pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination on the incidence and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome and aimed to assess the potential protective effect across different vaccines and patient demographics. This study hypothesized that vaccination before infection substantially reduces [...] Read more.
This systematic review critically evaluated the impact of a pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination on the incidence and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome and aimed to assess the potential protective effect across different vaccines and patient demographics. This study hypothesized that vaccination before infection substantially reduces the risk and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome. In October 2023, a comprehensive literature search was conducted across three databases, PubMed, Embase, and Scopus, focusing on studies published up to that date. Utilizing a wide array of keywords, the search strategy adhered to the PRISMA guidelines and was registered in the Open Science Framework. The inclusion criteria comprised studies focusing on patients with a breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection who developed post-COVID-19 syndrome. We included a total of 13 articles that met the inclusion criteria, analyzing more than 10 million patients with a mean age of 50.6 years, showing that the incidence of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions post-vaccination was as low as 2.4%, with a significant reduction in mortality risk (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.58–0.74). The prevalence of post-COVID-19 syndrome symptoms was lower in vaccinated individuals (9.5%) compared to unvaccinated (14.6%), with a notable decrease in activity-limiting symptoms (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.48–0.73). Vaccinated patients also showed a quicker recovery and return to work (HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04–1.79). The pooled odds ratio of 0.77 indicates that vaccination is associated with a 23% reduction in the risk of developing post-COVID-19 syndrome (95% CI 0.75–0.79). Despite the protective effects observed, a substantial heterogeneity among the studies was noted. In conclusion, a pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in the risk and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome. However, the observed heterogeneity across studies suggests a need for further research with standardized methods to fully comprehend vaccine efficacy against long COVID. Full article
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11 pages, 1570 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage and Factors Associated with Vaccine Hesitancy: A Cross-Sectional Survey in the City of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
by Pierre Z. Akilimali, Landry Egbende, Dynah M. Kayembe, Francis Kabasubabo, Benito Kazenza, Steve Botomba, Nguyen Toan Tran and Désiré K. Mashinda
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020188 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 912
Abstract
Vaccination against COVID-19 has been the main strategy used by most countries to limit the spread of the virus. However, vaccine uptake has been low in Africa, leading to the implementation of several interventions in order to improve vaccine coverage. This study was [...] Read more.
Vaccination against COVID-19 has been the main strategy used by most countries to limit the spread of the virus. However, vaccine uptake has been low in Africa, leading to the implementation of several interventions in order to improve vaccine coverage. This study was conducted due to the lack of information about COVID-19 vaccine coverage and the factors associated with vaccine hesitancy. This cross-sectional study was carried out in Kinshasa city using multi-stage random sampling. A total of 2160 households were included in this study. The data were analyzed using Stata 17 software. The means and standard deviations were computed for continuous data that followed a normal distribution, whereas proportions together with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed for categorical variables. The connections between dependent variables and each independent variable were tested using either Pearson's chi-square test or Fisher's exact test. The logistic regression method was employed to determine the factors that are linked to hesitation in obtaining the COVID-19 immunization. The majority of respondents were aged between 25 and 34 and 35 and 49 (28.9%). During this study, 15% (95% CI [13.25–17.9]) of respondents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The prevalence of vaccine hesitancy was 67% (CI95%:64.9–69.1). Among the reasons given for refusing to be vaccinated, most respondents cited concerns about the vaccine being unsafe or causing adverse reactions (45%). Among the reasons given for accepting the vaccine, 26% thought that the vaccine prevented superinfection. The factors associated with hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine were female gender, an age of less than 35 years, and living in non-slum households. Despite the interventions implemented across the country, the reluctance to be vaccinated remains a problem; this could lead to poor health outcomes, especially among the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. It is important to step up awareness-raising campaigns in the community in order to increase the uptake of vaccination. Full article
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