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Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines at preventing emergency department or urgent care encounters and hospitalizations among immunocompromised adults: An observational study of real-world data across 10 US states from August-December 2021

Immunocompromised (IC) persons are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes and are less protected by 1-2 COVID-19 vaccine doses than are immunocompetent (non-IC) persons. We compared vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended COVID-19 of 2-3 mRNA and 1-2 viral-vector vaccine doses between IC and non-IC adults. Using a test-negative design among eight VISION Network sites, VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated emergency department (ED) or urgent care (UC) events and hospitalizations from 26 August-25 December 2021 was estimated separately among IC and non-IC adults and among specific IC condition subgroups. Vaccination status was defined using number and timing of doses. VE for each status (versus unvaccinated) was adjusted for age, geography, time, prior positive test result, and local SARS-CoV-2 circulation. We analyzed 8,848 ED/UC events and 18,843 hospitalizations among IC patients and 200,071 ED/UC events and 70,882 hospitalizations among non-IC patients. Among IC patients, 3-dose mRNA VE against ED/UC (73% [95% CI: 64-80]) and hospitalization (81% [95% CI: 76-86]) was lower than that among non-IC patients (ED/UC: 94% [95% CI: 93-94]; hospitalization: 96% [95% CI: 95-97]). Similar patterns were observed for viral-vector vaccines. Transplant recipients had lower VE than other IC subgroups. During B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant predominance, IC adults received moderate protection against COVID-19-associated medical events from three mRNA doses, or one viral-vector dose plus a second dose of any product. However, protection was lower in IC versus non-IC patients, especially among transplant recipients, underscoring the need for additional protection among IC adults.

Authors: Embi, Peter J;Dunne, Margaret M;Stenehjem, Edward;Weber, Zachary A;Naleway, Allison L;et al.

Vaccine. 2023 Aug 23;41(37):5424-5434. Epub 2023-05-22.

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