Using national COVID-19 notification, hospitalisation, and vaccination datasets from Brazil, we did a testnegative, case-control study to assess the effectiveness of four vaccines (CoronaVac [Sinovac], ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [AstraZeneca], Ad26.COV2.S [Janssen], and BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNtech]) for individuals with laboratory-confirmed previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. We matched cases with RT-PCR positive, symptomatic COVID-19 with up to ten controls with negative RT-PCR tests who presented with symptomatic illnesses, restricting both groups to tests done at least 90 days after an initial infection. We used multivariable conditional logistic regression to compare the odds of test positivity and the odds of hospitalisation or death due to COVID-19, according to vaccination status and time since first or second dose of vaccines.

16th May 2022 • comment

COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy and child vaccination: Challenges from Brazil

by Michelle Fernandez, Gustavo Matta, Ester Paiva

In the world, the governments' policy decisions in response to COVID-19 were very different. Many countries, including in the Americas, political polarisation in health policies has been used as a tool for ideological dispute, draining out the debate around the right to social protection and health. During 2021, these strategies were used in vaccination policies. The consequences of the dissemination of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines overflows distrust and hesitation into an entire public health project.

12th April 2022 • comment

The resurgence of yellow fever in South America has prompted vaccination against the etiologic agent, yellow fever virus (YFV). Current vaccines are based on a live-attenuated YF-17D virus derived from a virulent African isolate. The capacity of these vaccines to induce neutralizing antibodies against the vaccine strain is used as a surrogate for protection. However, the sensitivity of genetically distinct South American strains to vaccine-induced antibodies is unknown. We show that antiviral potency of the polyclonal antibody response in vaccinees is attenuated against an emergent Brazilian strain. This reduction was attributable to amino acid changes at two sites in central domain II of the glycoprotein E, including multiple changes at the domain I–domain II hinge, which are unique to and shared among most South American YFV strains. Our findings call for a reevaluation of current approaches to YFV immunological surveillance in South America and suggest approaches for updating vaccines.

7th February 2022 • comment

Both  vaccines  demonstrated  overall  effectiveness  against  severe  COVID-19  up  to  80  years  of age.  Our  results  suggest  that  individuals  aged  90  years or  older  may  benefit from  an expedited  third  booster  dose.  Ongoing  evaluations, including  any  additional  vaccines authorized,  are  crucial  to  monitoring  long-term vaccine  effectiveness.

26th January 2022 • comment

A complete regimen of CoronaVac in pregnant women was effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, and highly effective against severe illness in a setting that combines high disease burden and elevated Covid-19 related maternal deaths.

26th January 2022 • comment

Background High rates of virus transmission and the presence of variants of concern can affect vaccine effectiveness (VE). Both conditions occur in low-income countries, which primarily use viral vector or inactivated virus vaccine technologies. Such countries conducted few VE analyses, and most lack the power to evaluate effectiveness in subgroups.

3rd September 2021 • comment

SARS-CoV-2 has undergone progressive change with variants conferring advantage rapidly becoming dominant lineages e.g. B.1.617. With apparent increased transmissibility variant B.1.617.2 has contributed to the current wave of infection ravaging the Indian subcontinent and has been designated a variant of concern in the UK. 

29th June 2021 • comment

We recently reported vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates against symptomatic disease with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.(1) After a full course, VE reached 88% with the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine and 67% with the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 AZD1222 vaccine. This provided important evidence that despite modest reductions in protection, vaccines remain effective against Delta. However, the very recent emergence of the variant and the relatively low case numbers meant that it was not possible to estimate VE against severe disease.

14th June 2021 • comment