Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decreased Infectivity Following BNT162b2 Vaccination
28 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2021More...
Background: BNT162b2 was shown to be 92% effective in preventing COVID-19. Prioritizing vaccine rollout, and achievement of herd immunity depend on SARS-CoV-2 transmission reduction. The vaccine’s effect on infectivity is thus a critical priority.
Methods: In a cohort of all 9650 HCW of a large single tertiary medical center, we calculated the prevalence of positive SAR-CoV-2 qRT-PCR cases with an asymptomatic presentation, tested following known or presumed exposure and the infectious subset (N-gene-Ct-value<30) of these and the prevalence of never-symptomatic infections. Additionally, infection incidence rates were calculated for symptomatic cases and infectious (Ct<30) cases. Vaccine effectiveness within three months of vaccine rollout was measured as one minus the relative risk or rate ratio, respectively. To further assess infectiousness, we compared the mean Ct-value and the proportion of infections with a positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen test of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. The correlation between IgG levels within the week before detection and Ct level was assessed.
Findings: Reduced prevalence among fully vaccinated HCW was observed for (i) infections detected due to exposure, with asymptomatic presentation (VE(i)=65.1%, 95%CI 45-79%), (ii) the presumed infectious (Ct<30) subset of these (VE(ii)=69.6%, 95%CI 43-84%) (iii) never-symptomatic infections (VE(iii)=72.3%, 95%CI 48-86%), and (iv) the presumed infectious (Ct<30) subset (VE(iv)=83.0%, 95%CI 51-94%).Incidence of (v) symptomatic and (vi) symptomatic-infectious cases was significantly lower among fully vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals (VE(v)= 89.7%, 95%CI 84-94%, VE(vi)=88.1%, 95%CI 80-95%).The mean Ct-value was significantly higher in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated (27.3±1.2 vs. 22.2±1.0, p<0.001) and the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests was also significantly lower among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated PCR-positive HCW (80% vs. 31%, p<0.001). Lower infectivity was correlated with higher IgG concentrations (R=0.36, p=0.01).
Interpretation: These results suggest that BNT162b2 is moderately to highly effective in reducing infectivity, via preventing infection and through reducing viral shedding.
Funding: Sheba Medical Center, Israel
Declaration of Interest: All authors declare they have no competing interests
Ethical Approval: The Sheba Ethical committee, reviewed the protocol and approved the
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation