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Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040784
This study investigated the immunogenicity of, and reactogenicity to, the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine according to pre-existing adenovirus immunity. Individuals scheduled for COVID-19 vaccination were prospectively enrolled in a tertiary hospital with 2400 beds from March 2020 onwards. Pre-existing adenovirus immunity data was obtained before ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination. A total of 68 adult patients administered two doses of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine were enrolled. Pre-existing adenovirus immunity was identified in 49 patients (72.1%), but not in the remaining 19 patients (27.9%). The geometric mean titer of S-specific IgG antibodies was statistically higher in individuals without pre-existing adenovirus immunity at several time points: before the second ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 dose (56.4 (36.6–125.0) vs. 51.0 (17.9–122.3), p = 0.024), 2–3 weeks after the second ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 dose (629.5 (451.5–926.5) vs. 555.0 (287.3–926.0), p = 0.049), and 3 months after the second ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 dose (274.5 (160.5–655.3) vs. 176.0 (94.3–255.3), p = 0.033). In the absence of pre-existing adenovirus immunity, systemic events were observed with higher frequency, especially chills (73.7% vs. 31.9%, p = 0.002). In conclusion, individuals without pre-existing adenovirus immunity showed a higher immune response to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination and a higher frequency of reactogenicity to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination was observed.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040783
Scant research exists on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among law enforcement officers, hindering health messaging development for officers and, by extension, the communities they serve. This paper’s goal was to address this gap by providing the necessary data to better under hesitancy to guide training and policy interventions for officers. The objective was to conduct the first nationally representative survey of officers on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its correlates. We collected data from February 2021 to March 2022 on officer COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and examined their responses in terms of sociodemographic factors, health status, and job characteristics. We found that 40% of officers were COVID-19 vaccine hesitant. We found that officers with higher education, older officers, officers with more law enforcement experience, officers who received recent health checkups, and commanders (compared to line officers) were less likely to be COVID-19 vaccine hesitant. Critically, officers working in law enforcement agencies that provided masks for COVID-19 protection were less likely to be COVID-19 vaccine hesitant (compared to agencies not providing masks). Ongoing research is needed to understand how evolving attitudes and barriers toward vaccination change over time for officers and to test messaging to better align officers with health guidelines.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040782
(1) Background: Canada had a unique approach to COVID-19 vaccine policy making. The objective of this study was to understand the evolution of COVID-19 vaccination policies in Ontario, Canada, using the policy triangle framework. (2) Methods: We searched government websites and social media to identify COVID-19 vaccination policies in Ontario, Canada, which were posted between 1 October 2020, and 1 December 2021. We used the policy triangle framework to explore the policy actors, content, processes, and context. (3) Results: We reviewed 117 Canadian COVID-19 vaccine policy documents. Our review found that federal actors provided guidance, provincial actors made actionable policy, and community actors adapted policy to local contexts. The policy processes aimed to approve and distribute vaccines while continuously updating policies. The policy content focused on group prioritization and vaccine scarcity issues such as the delayed second dose and the mixed vaccine schedules. Finally, the policies were made in the context of changing vaccine science, global and national vaccine scarcity, and a growing awareness of the inequitable impacts of pandemics on specific communities. (4) Conclusions: We found that the triad of vaccine scarcity, evolving efficacy and safety data, and social inequities all contributed to the creation of vaccine policies that were difficult to efficiently communicate to the public. A lesson learned is that the need for dynamic policies must be balanced with the complexity of effective communication and on-the-ground delivery of care.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040781
Immunization has one of the highest coverage levels of any health intervention, yet there remain zero-dose children, defined as those who do not receive any routine immunizations. There were 18.2 million zero-dose children in 2021, and as they accounted for over 70% of all underimmunized children, reaching zero-dose children will be essential to meeting ambitious immunization coverage targets by 2030. While certain geographic locations, such as urban slum, remote rural, and conflict-affected settings, may place a child at higher risk of being zero-dose, zero-dose children are found in many places, and understanding the social, political, and economic barriers they face will be key to designing sustainable programs to reach them. This includes gender-related barriers to immunization and, in some countries, barriers related to ethnicity and religion, as well as the unique challenges associated with reaching nomadic, displaced, or migrant populations. Zero-dose children and their families face multiple deprivations related to wealth, education, water and sanitation, nutrition, and access to other health services, and they account for one-third of all child deaths in low- and middle-income countries. Reaching zero-dose children and missed communities is therefore critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals commitment to “leave no one behind”.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040780
Immunogens mimicking the native-like structure of surface-exposed viral antigens are considered promising vaccine candidates. Influenza viruses are important zoonotic respiratory viruses with high pandemic potential. Recombinant soluble hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein-based protein subunit vaccines against Influenza have been shown to induce protective efficacy when administered intramuscularly. Here, we have expressed a recombinant soluble trimeric HA protein in Expi 293F cells and purified the protein derived from the Inf A/Guangdong-Maonan/ SWL1536/2019 virus which was found to be highly virulent in the mouse. The trimeric HA protein was found to be in the oligomeric state, highly stable, and the efficacy study in the BALB/c mouse challenge model through intradermal immunization with the prime-boost regimen conferred complete protection against a high lethal dose of homologous and mouse-adapted InfA/PR8 virus challenge. Furthermore, the immunogen induced high hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) titers and showed cross-protection against other Inf A and Inf B subtypes. The results are promising and warrant trimeric HA as a suitable vaccine candidate.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040778
Waves of breakthrough infections by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants currently pose a global challenge to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We previously reported a pVAX1-based DNA vaccine candidate, pAD1002, that encodes a receptor-binding domain (RBD) chimera of SARS-CoV-1 and Omicron BA.1. In mouse and rabbit models, pAD1002 plasmid induced cross-neutralizing Abs against heterologous sarbecoviruses, including SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 wildtype, Delta and Omicron variants. However, these antisera failed to block the recent emerging Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BQ.1. To solve this problem, we replaced the BA.1 RBD-encoding DNA sequence in pAD1002 with that of BA.4/5. The resulting construct, namely pAD1016, elicited SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific IFN-γ+ cellular responses in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. More importantly, pAD1016 vaccination in mice, rabbits and pigs generated serum Abs capable of neutralizing pseudoviruses representing multiple SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants including BA.2, BA.4/5, BF.7, BQ.1 and XBB. As a booster vaccine for inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus preimmunization in mice, pAD1016 broadened the serum Ab neutralization spectrum to cover the Omicron BA.4/5, BF7 and BQ.1 subvariants. These preliminary data highlight the potential benefit of pAD1016 in eliciting neutralizing Abs against broad-spectrum Omicron subvariants in individuals previously vaccinated with inactivated prototype SARS-CoV-2 virus and suggests that pAD1016 is worthy of further translational study as a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040779
Background: It is important to evaluate the attitude of society towards vaccines to understand the rates of acceptance and hesitance towards vaccination, which are essential components of public health and epidemiology. This study aimed to evaluate the perspective of the Turkish population on COVID-19 status, rate of vaccination, and also to evaluate the reasons for refusal to vaccinate, vaccine hesitancy, and related factors. Methods: A total of 4539 participants were included in this population-based descriptive and cross-sectional study. The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS-II) was used to obtain a representative sample and for this purpose Turkey was divided into 26 regions. Participants were randomly selected based on the demographic features and population ratios of the selected regions. The following parameters were evaluated: sociodemographic characteristics and perspectives on COVID-19 vaccines, Vaccine Hesitancy Scale Adapted to Pandemics (VHS-P), and Anti-Vaccine Scale-Long Form (AVS-LF) questions. Results: A total of 4539 participants, 2303 (50.7%) male and 2236 (49.3%) female, aged between 18 and 73 years, were included in this study. It was observed that 58.4% of the participants had hesitations towards COVID-19 vaccination, and 19.6% were hesitant about all childhood vaccinations. Those who did not have the COVID-19 vaccine, who did not think that the COVID-19 vaccine was protective, and who had hesitation to vaccinate against COVID-19 had significantly higher median scores on the VHS-P and AVS-LF scales, respectively (all p < 0.01). Those who did not have their children vaccinated in childhood and who were hesitant about childhood vaccinations, had significantly higher median scores on the VHS-P and AVS-LF scales, respectively (all p < 0.01). Conclusion: Although the rate of vaccination for COVID-19 was 93.4% in the study, hesitation to vaccinate was 58.4%. The median score of the scales of those who were hesitant about childhood vaccinations was higher than individuals who did not have any hesitation. In general, the source of concerns about vaccines should be clearly seen, and precautions should be taken.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040777
Commercially used porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRS) modified live virus (MLV) vaccines provide limited protection with heterologous viruses, can revert back to a virulent form and they tend to recombine with circulating wild-type strains. Codon pair deoptimization (CPD) is an advanced method to attenuate a virus that overcomes the disadvantages of MLV vaccines and is effective in various virus vaccine models. The CPD vaccine against PRRSV-2 was successfully tested in our previous study. The co-existence of PRRSV-1 and -2 in the same herd demands protective immunity against both viruses. In this study, live attenuated PRRSV-1 was constructed by recoding 22 base pairs in the ORF7 gene of the E38 strain. The efficacy and safety of the CPD live attenuated vaccine E38-ORF7 CPD to protect against virulent PRRSV-1 were evaluated. Viral load, and respiratory and lung lesion scores were significantly reduced in animals vaccinated with E38-ORF7 CPD. Vaccinated animals were seropositive by 14 days post-vaccination with an increased level of interferon-γ secreting cells. In conclusion, the codon-pair-deoptimized vaccine was easily attenuated and displayed protective immunity against virulent heterologous PRRSV-1.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040775
COVID-19-related mortality among hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients in the pre-vaccine era ranged between 22 and 33%. The Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine demonstrated significant immunogenicity and efficacy in the healthy population; however, its long-term effects on allogeneic HSCT recipients remained unclear. Our study longitudinally evaluated humoral and cellular responses to the BNT162b2 vaccine in adult allogeneic HSCT patients. A positive response was defined as antibody titers ≥ 150 AU/mL post-second vaccination. Among 77 included patients, 51 (66.2%) responded to vaccination. Response-associated factors were female gender, recent anti-CD20 therapy, and a longer interval between transplant and vaccination. Response rates reached 83.7% in patients vaccinated >12 months post-transplant. At 6 months post-second vaccination, antibody titers dropped, but were significantly increased with the booster dose. Moreover, 43% (6/14) of non-responders to the second vaccination acquired sufficient antibody titers after booster administration, resulting in an overall response rate of 79.5% for the entire cohort. The BNT162b2 vaccine was effective in allogeneic transplant recipients. Although antibody titers decreased with time, the third vaccination led to their significant elevation, with 93% of third-dose responders maintaining titers above 150 AU/mL at 3 months post-administration.
Vaccines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040776
Winter in the northern hemisphere is characterized by the circulation of influenza viruses, which cause seasonal epidemics, generally from October to April. Each influenza season has its own pattern, which differs from one year to the next in terms of the first influenza case notification, the period of highest incidence, and the predominant influenza virus subtypes. After the total absence of influenza viruses in the 2020/2021 season, cases of influenza were again recorded in the 2021/2022 season, although they remained below the seasonal average. Moreover, the co-circulation of the influenza virus and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic virus was also reported. In the context of the DRIVE study, oropharyngeal swabs were collected from 129 Tuscan adults hospitalized for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and analyzed by means of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 and 21 different airborne pathogens, including influenza viruses. In total, 55 subjects tested positive for COVID-19, 9 tested positive for influenza, and 3 tested positive for both SARS-CoV-2 and the A/H3N2 influenza virus. The co-circulation of different viruses in the population requires strengthened surveillance that is no longer restricted to the winter months. Indeed, constant, year-long monitoring of the trends of these viruses is needed, especially in at-risk groups and elderly people.