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The effectiveness of the first dose of BNT162 b 2 vaccine in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection 13-24 days after immunization: real-world evidence

By Gabriel Chodcik, Lilac Tene, Tal Patalon, Sivan Gazit, Amir Ben-Tov, Dani Cohen, Khitam Muhsen

Posted 29 Jan 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.27.21250612

Background BNT162b2 vaccines showed high efficacy against COVID-19 in a randomized controlled phase-III trial. A vaccine effectiveness evaluation in real life settings is urgently needed, especially given the global disease surge. Hence, we assessed the short-term effectiveness of the first dose of BNT162b2-vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given the BNT162b2 Phase-III results, we hypothesized that the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among vaccinees will decline after 12 days following immunization compared to the incidence during the preceding days. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from 2.6 million-member state-mandated health provider in Israel. Study population consisted of all members aged 16 or above years who were vaccinated with BNT162b2-vaccine between December/19/2020 and January/15/2021. We collected information regarding medical history and positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test from days after first dose to January/17/2021. Daily and cumulative infection rates in days 13-24 were compared to days 1-12 after first dose using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and generalized linear models. Findings Data of 503,875 individuals (mean age 59.7 years SD=14.7, 47.8% males) were analyzed, of whom 351,897 had 13-24 days of follow-up. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0.57% (n=2484) during days 1-12 and 0.27% (n=614) in days 13-24. A 51.4% relative risk reduction (RRR) was calculated in weighted-average daily incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection from 43.41-per-100,000(SE=12.07) in days 1-12 to 21.08-per-100,000(SE=6.16) in days 13-24 following immunization. The decrement in incidence was evident from day 18 after first dose. Similar RRRs were calculated in individuals aged 60 or above (44.5%), younger individuals (50.2%), females (50.0%) and males (52.1%). Findings were similar in sub-populations and patients with various comorbidities. Conclusions We demonstrated an effectiveness of 51% of BNT162b2 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection 13-24 days after immunization with the first dose. Immunization with the second dose should be continued to attain the anticipated protection.

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