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mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants and severe COVID-19 disease in Qatar

, , Fatiha M. Benslimane, Hebah A. Al Khatib, , , , Peter Coyle, , Zaina Al Kanaani,
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Published: 9 July 2021

Abstract: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to be a global health concern. The mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine was reported to have an efficacy of 94.1% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 due to infection with ‘wild-type’ variants in a randomized clinical trial. Here, we assess the real-world effectiveness of this vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, specifically B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.351 (Beta), in Qatar, a population that comprises mainly working-age adults, using a matched test-negative, case-control study design. We show that vaccine effectiveness was negligible for 2 weeks after the first dose, but increased rapidly in the third and fourth weeks immediately before administration of a second dose. Effectiveness against B.1.1.7 infection was 88.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 83.7–91.5%) ≥14 days after the first dose but before the second dose, and was 100% (95% CI: 91.8–100.0%) ≥14 days after the second dose. Analogous effectiveness against B.1.351 infection was 61.3% after the first dose (95% CI: 56.5–65.5%) and 96.4% after the second dose (95% CI: 91.9–98.7%). Effectiveness against any severe, critical or fatal COVID-19 disease due to any SARS-CoV-2 infection (predominantly B.1.1.7 and B.1.351) was 81.6% (95% CI: 71.0–88.8%) and 95.7% (95% CI: 73.4–99.9%) after the first and second dose, respectively. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is highly effective against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 infections, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, and against any COVID-19 hospitalization and death, even after a single dose. A matched test-negative, case-control study using real-world data from a predominantly working-age population demonstrates efficacy of the mRNA-1273 vaccine to be 100% and 96.4% against the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.351 (Beta) SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, respectively.
Keywords: Epidemiology / RNA vaccines / Viral infection / Biomedicine / general / Cancer Research / Metabolic Diseases / Infectious Diseases / Molecular Medicine / Neurosciences

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