DATASET | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0263.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Twitter; Arabic; COVID-19
Online: 16 April 2020 (08:15:28 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic spread of the coronavirus across the globe has affected our lives on many different levels. The world we knew before the spread of the virus has become another one. Every country has taken preventive measures, including social distancing, travel restrictions, and curfew, to control the spread of the disease. With these measures implemented, people have shifted to social media platforms in the online sphere, such as Twitter, to maintain connections. In this paper, we describe a coronavirus data set of Arabic tweets collected from January 1, 2020, primarily from hashtags populated from Saudi Arabia. This data set is available to the research community to glean a better understanding of the societal, economical, and political effects of the outbreak and to help policy makers make better decisions for fighting this epidemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0153.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Virus; Vaccine; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; Covid-19; Covid-19 vaccine
Online: 7 September 2020 (03:46:59 CEST)
This tutorial is organized into three major sections—viruses, vaccines and the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. The goal is to provide enough background on viruses, history of vaccines, and the science of vaccinology founded on the principles of immunity. The hope is that this will enable us to understand the challenges, methods and prospects for developing a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Many important viruses such as smallpox, HIV, HCV and SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for causing the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are presented in detail, which is then followed by a description of different vaccine development methods and strategies. The tutorial then discusses different candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and provides specific details of many of the prospective vaccines on the leader-board which are undergoing clinical trials. The tutorial concludes with a realistic projection for a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 based on the historical scientific record.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0076.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: COVID-19; Omicron; inactivated vaccines
Online: 4 March 2022 (09:10:15 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has now become very severe as never before due to the overwhelming spread of Omicron. We found that Omicron outbreak can be effectively prevented by inactivated vaccines, which averted an outbreak of more than 1.6 million people in Hangzhou, China. The 36 mutations in the target spike protein of Omicron neutralizing antibody enable it to evade the immune protection afforded by vaccines. This is because that mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines are designed to recognize the spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (WT) strain. However, Inactivated vaccines contain the whole viral antigens and remain stable in their recognition of newly emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. Our study confirmed the advantage of inactivated vaccines in the face of highly mutated Omicron variant and provided a basis for the development of effective vaccines to prevent future long-term transmission, mutation and recurrence of SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0151.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine; COVID-19 vaccine; cardiovascular effects; myocarditis; adolescents; Thailand
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:40:23 CEST)
This study focuses on cardiovascular effects, particularly myocarditis and pericarditis events, after BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine injection in Thai adolescents. This prospective cohort study enrolled students from two schools aged 13–18 years who received the second dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Data including demographics, symptoms, vital signs, ECG, echocardiography and cardiac enzymes were collected at baseline, Day 3, Day 7, and Day 14 (optional) using case record forms.We enrolled 314 participants; of these, 13 participants were lost to follow up, leaving 301 participants for analysis. The most common cardiovascular effects were tachycardia (7.64%), shortness of breath (6.64%), palpitation (4.32%), chest pain (4.32%), and hypertension (3.99%). Seven participants (2.33%) exhibited at least one elevated cardiac biomarker or positive lab assessments. Cardiovascular effects were found in 29.24% of patients, ranging from tachycardia, palpitation, and myopericarditis. Myopericarditis was confirmed in one patient after vaccination. Two patients had suspected pericarditis and four patients had suspected subclinical myocarditis. Conclusion: Cardiovascular effects in adolescents after BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccination included tachycardia, palpitation, and myocarditis. The clinical presentation of myopericarditis after vaccination was usually mild, with all cases fully recovering within 14 days. Hence, adolescents receiving mRNA vaccines should be monitored for side effects. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT05288231
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0245.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Emergency Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; Lipid nanoparticles; mRNA; Vaccines; Vaccine stability
Online: 3 August 2023 (08:07:09 CEST)
Traditional vaccines are produced by using weakened or inactivated forms of disease-causing pathogens to produce the target antigen they are designed to protect against. Messenger RNA vaccines are a class of vaccines that employ a minute segment of genetic material, known as messenger RNA (mRNA), which contains directives for the cells in the body to generate a particular protein. This genetic material is synthesized in the laboratory and packaged into a lipid nanoparticle, which protects and helps it enter cells for further protein synthesis. During vaccination with mRNA vaccine, the lipid nanoparticles containing the mRNA are injected into the muscle of vaccinees. Once inside the cells, the mRNA instructs the cells to produce a protein which is then displayed on the surface of the cell, triggering an immune response. During this, the immune system recognizes the displayed protein as foreign and mounts a defense by producing antibodies and activating immune cells to target and eliminate the protein. Furthermore, these immune responses generate a memory cell, facilitating the immune system to promptly react in case of encountering the authentic pathogen as an infection in the future. The mRNA vaccines are flexible and the sequence can be easily synthesized in the lab based on the genetic information of the target pathogen. Additionally, mRNA vaccines can be developed for new strains or variants of the target disease easily. This was particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, where mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were developed and authorized for emergency use within a year. But currently, available mRNA vaccines require extensive cold chain, antigen delivery, potential immune response variability optimization, and sophisticated manufacturing process. The efforts to explore next-generation mRNA vaccine development are aimed to further improve the effectiveness, stability, and delivery methods. One focus of research has been to enhance the stability of mRNA vaccines, particularly temperature sensitivity which makes storage and distribution easier, particularly in regions with limited access to cold chain infrastructure. Self-amplifying mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, are designed to generate multiple copies of the mRNA within cells which potentially leads to a higher production of the target protein, resulting in a stronger immune response. Additionally, studies are exploring new delivery systems to improve the target and efficiency of mRNA vaccines using specialized nanoparticles and liposomes to specifically deliver mRNA to certain cell types or immune cells. Another area of interest is the development of combination vaccines, where multiple mRNA sequences are included in a single vaccine protecting against multiple diseases targeting strains or variants of a particular pathogen simultaneously. While current mRNA vaccines are administered via intramuscular injection, studies are underway to deliver directly into the skin offering enhanced immune response and the ability to use smaller vaccine doses.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0840.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: Vaccine adverse event; Covid-19; spike protein; diagnosis
Online: 29 August 2023 (09:18:30 CEST)
Delineating the epidemic of vaccine injury from the coterminous condition long covid is a challenging prospect, but one with many implications not just for treatment, but also has important legal considerations for settlements of vaccine injury. The shared etiological factor of the spike protein in both vaccine injury and long covid make differentiation difficult, and while treatment is largely similar between vaccine injury and long covid, there are important distinctions. Furthermore, diagnostics are important for monitoring treatment progress and assessing the extent of subclinical vaccine injury in population having received a covid-19 vaccine. The development of rigorous diagnostics is an important step towards the recognition of both long covid and vaccine injury, as those suffering these conditions have faced immense challenges in having their conditions recognized, treated, and compensated by insurance companies or national health services.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS 2; coronavirus
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:41:36 CEST)
There is an urgent need to advance safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Such vaccines rely on proven technologies such as recombinant protein-based vaccines to facilitate its transfer for emerging market vaccine manufacturers. Our group is developing a two-pronged approach to advance recombinant protein-based vaccines to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV2 and other coronavirus infections. One vaccine is based on a yeast-derived (Pichia pastoris) recombinant protein comprised of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV formulated on alum and referred to as the CoV RBD219-N1 Vaccine. Potentially this vaccine could be used as a heterologous vaccine against COVID-19. A second vaccine specific for COVID-19 is also being advanced using the corresponding RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The first antigen has already undergone cGMP manufacture and is therefore “shovel ready” for advancing into clinical trials, following vialing and required GLP toxicology testing. Evidence for its potential efficacy to cross-protect against SARS-CoV-2 includes cross-neutralization and binding studies using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Evidence in support of its safety profile include our internal assessments in a mouse challenge model using a lethal mouse adapted SARS strain, which show that SARS-CoV RBD 291N1 (when adsorbed to Alhydrogel®) does not elicit eosinophilic lung pathology. Together these findings suggest that recombinant protein-based vaccines based on the RBD warrant further development to prevent SARS, COVID-19 or other coronaviruses of pandemic potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0415.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Vaccine hesitancy; COVID-19 Vaccine; Saudi Arabia
Online: 31 May 2022 (09:22:49 CEST)
On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Vaccination programs have advanced greatly in the global health period, despite widespread anti-vaccination attitudes and misinformation. Vaccine hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccine is currently a major issue in Saudi Arabia. This cross-sectional study was carried out from June 25, 2021 to October 2021 in order to investigate the knowledge levels of acceptance and hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccine among Saudi’s nationals. The data was collected through a close-ended structured questionnaire from a total of 565 respondents. Overall, 78.41% respondents were female, 62.48% having university level education and 61.06% were unemployed. Majority of the participants 82.30% (n=465) think that Pfizer vaccine has the highest efficiency against COVID-19. Our study concludes that majority of the participants have satisfactory knowledge about COVID-19 vaccination. Concerns over vaccine components, effectiveness of vaccine and possible side effects are among the key causes for vaccine hesitancy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0087.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine freedom
Online: 4 November 2022 (04:12:38 CET)
Despite the availability of effective vaccines that lower mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19, many countries including Italy adopted strict vaccination policies and mandates to increase the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Such mandates have sparked debates on the freedom to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. In this study, we examined the people’s belief in vaccine choice as a predictor of willingness to get vaccinated among a sample of unvaccinated individuals in Italy. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in Italy in May 2021. The survey collected data on respondents’ demographics and region of residence, socioeconomic factors, belief in the freedom to choose to be vaccinated or not, risk perception of contracting and transmitting the disease, previous vaccine refusal, opinion on adequacy of government measures to address the pandemic, experience in requesting and being denied government aid during the pandemic, and intent to accept COVID-19 vaccination. The analysis employed binary logistic regression models using a hierarchical model building approach to assess the association between intent to accept vaccination and belief in the freedom to choose to vaccinate, while adjusting for other variables of interest. 984 unvaccinated individuals were included in the study. Respondents who agreed that people should be free to decide whether or not to vaccinate with no restrictions on their personal life had 85% lower odds of vaccine acceptance (OR=0.15 ;95% CI,0.09,0.23) after adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors and their risk perception of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. Belief in the freedom to choose whether or not to accept vaccinations was a major predictor of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among a sample of unvaccinated individuals in Italy in May 2021. This understanding of how individuals prioritize personal freedoms and the perceived benefits and risks of vaccines, when making health care decisions can inform the development of public health outreach, educational programs and messaging.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0717.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: vaccine hesitancy; vaccine acceptance; anti-vaccination; COVID-19; coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine rejection
Online: 29 December 2020 (08:46:16 CET)
Utility of vaccine campaigns to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not merely dependent on vaccine efficacy and safety. Vaccine acceptance among the general public and the healthcare workers, appears to have a decisive role for successful control of the pandemic. The aim of this review was to provide an up-to-date assessment of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance rates worldwide. A systematic search of the peer-reviewed English survey literature indexed in PubMed was done on December 25, 2020. Results from 30 studies, met the inclusion criteria and formed the basis for final COVID-19 vaccine acceptance estimates. Results of an additional recent survey from Jordan and Kuwait was considered in this review as well. Survey studies on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found from 33 different countries. Among adults representing the general public, the highest COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found in Ecuador (97.0%), Malaysia (94.3%), Indonesia (93.3%) and China (91.3%). On the other hand, the lowest COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found in Kuwait (23.6%), Jordan (28.4%), Italy (53.7), Russia (54.9%), Poland (56.3%), US (56.9%), and France (58.9%). Only eight surveys among healthcare workers (doctors, nurses) were found, with vaccine acceptance rates ranging from 27.7% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to 78.1% in Israel. In a majority of survey studies among the general public (62%), the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination showed a level of ≥ 70%. Low rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance were reported in the Middle East, Russia, Africa and several European countries. This could represent a major problem in the global efforts that aim to control the current COVID-19 pandemic. More studies are recommended to address the scope of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Such studies are particularly needed in the Middle East Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Middle and Latin America.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0988.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: COVID-19; Vaccine hesitancy; Implication; Consequences; Economic recovery
Online: 15 May 2023 (07:37:36 CEST)
The phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy is a growing threat to public health with far-reaching implications. The widening gap between the vaccinated and the proportion needed for herd immunity raises two critical research questions that are of interest to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers: (1) What determines one’s decision to be vaccinated? and (2) What is the implication of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy on economic recovery? In this study, we use empirical data in the context of South Africa to investigate factors affecting COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and their implications for economic recovery. Findings reveal key socio-demographic and institutional drivers of COVD-9 vaccine hesitancy, which include age (the youth are more hesitant), inadequate information on the vaccine (those who perceive they have adequate information are vaccinated), trust issues in government institutions, conspiracy beliefs, vaccine-related factors, and perceived side effects associated with the vaccine. Additionally, an individual’s decision to remain hesitant about COVID-19 vaccination has implications for businesses and the economy by limiting movement and trade, increasing unemployment, and causing a resurgence of new variants. Based on the findings, action plans such as information dissemination, convenience vaccination centers, consistency communications, and targeted campaign strategies are recommended for improving vaccine intakes and a positive economic recovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0295.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: vaccine literacy; vaccination beliefs; Covid-19 perceptions; online survey
Online: 14 July 2020 (06:02:40 CEST)
The Covid-19 infodemic can be countered by scientific evidences, clear and consistent communication and improved health literacy of both individuals in need of information and those providing it. A rapid online survey was carried out to evaluate vaccine literacy (VL) skills in the general population and perceptions about candidate Covid-19 vaccines, as well as behavior and beliefs about current vaccinations. Observed VL levels were sufficiently high and consistent with previous observations - where comparable self-reported tools were administered face-to-face and paper-and-pencil - the mean functional score being =2.92, while the interactive-critical one was =3.27, on a maximum of 4. Perceptions regarding future Covid-19 vaccines, along with beliefs about vaccination, were mostly positive and significantly associated with functional and interactive-critical VL scales. Despite obvious limitations, the study confirms that rapid surveys via web are a suitable method to evaluate and trail attitudes during infectious disease outbreaks, and to assess health literacy skills about vaccination, which can be useful to adapt medical communication strategies, for a better understanding of the value of immunization.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0656.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: COVID-19; AI-based approach; vaccine development
Online: 9 November 2023 (14:51:09 CET)
AI-based approaches are increasingly being used to revolutionize vaccine development for COVID-19. Small molecules, peptides, and epitopes are being collected for therapy discovery, which could also direct AI-based models, screening, or generation . AI-based models are being used for drug discovery and vaccine development, and pre-existing data is being leveraged through machine learning approaches for COVID-19 drug discovery and vaccine development . The best candidate targets for future treatment development are being identified and evaluated using AI-based models . AI-based approaches can be used to overcome challenges in manufacturing, storage, logistics, and safety and efficacy issues related to different vaccine candidates for COVID-19 . AI algorithms can help identify the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19 while considering the efficiency of antigenic peptides for immune response generation . The presentation of antigenic peptides by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules is the first step after COVID-19 vaccine administration for any vaccine-induced immune response . Thus, AI-based models are being used to identify the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19 and to ensure that the vaccine-induced immune response is efficient and safe. The utilization of AI-based methods to address logistical, manufacturing, storage, safety, and efficacy issues regarding several COVID-19 vaccine candidates will be examined in this study. Additionally, while considering the effectiveness of antigenic peptides for the induction of an immune response, we will determine the best potential targets for the next treatment development and assess how AI-based models can help discover the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19. This research ultimately intends to offer insights into how AI-based techniques can transform COVID-19 vaccine development and how they can be applied to address vaccine development issues. In this paper, we focus on recent advances in using artificial intelligence to develop COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, as well as the potential of intelligent training in discovering COVID-19 therapeutics, highlighting potential challenges and solutions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1198.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: myocarditis; sudden death; chest pain; autopsy; necropsy; COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccines; mRNA; SARS-CoV-2 vaccination; death; excess mortality; spike protein; organ system
Online: 18 July 2023 (09:34:51 CEST)
Background: COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to myocarditis which in some circumstances can be fatal. This systematic review aims to investigate potential causal links between COVID-19 vaccines and death from myocarditis using post-mortem analysis. Methods: We performed a systematic review of all published autopsy reports involving COVID-19 vaccination-related myocarditis through July 3rd, 2023. All autopsy studies that include COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis as a possible cause of death were included, without imposing any additional restrictions. Causality in each case was determined by three independent reviewers with cardiac pathology experience and expertise. Results: We initially identified 1,691 studies and, after screening for our inclusion criteria, included 14 papers that contained 28 autopsy cases. The cardiovascular system was the only organ system affected in 26 cases. In 2 cases, myocarditis was characterized as a consequence from multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS). The mean and median number of days from last COVID-19 vaccination until death was 6.2 and 3 days, respectively. Most of the deaths occurred within a week from the last injection. We established that all 28 deaths were causally linked to COVID-19 vaccination by independent adjudication. Conclusions: The temporal relationship, internal and external consistency seen among cases in this review with known COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis, its pathobiological mechanisms and related excess death, complemented with autopsy confirmation, independent adjudication, and application of the Bradford Hill criteria to the overall epidemiology of vaccine myocarditis, suggests there is a high likelihood of a causal link between COVID-19 vaccines and death from suspected myocarditis in cases where sudden, unexpected death has occurred in a vaccinated person. Urgent investigation is required for the purpose of risk stratification and mitigation in order to reduce the population occurrence of fatal COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0204.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Vaccine cocktail; COVID-19; MERS; SARS; Viruses
Online: 11 August 2022 (03:22:22 CEST)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 commonly known as SARS-CoV-2 is the utmost challenging pandemic that attracted scientific community to discover therapeutics as well as vaccination solutions to control SARS-CoV-2. Different diagnostic and detection methods have been improved and re-introduced from the previous observations of SERS and MERS. Due to the high mortality rate and fast spread, researchers all around the globe gathered to develop an effective vaccine. The review article summarizes various types of vaccines, mutants of virus, strategies in tackling virus, vaccine development and its global distribution with the focus on the use of mix and match of vaccines to fight the virus. The reported studies depict the design and production of successful COVID-19 vaccines with good efficacy as the selected vaccine population embrace high-risk personages i.e. above the age of 60, frontline workers and other essential service workers. We have targeted at delivering an outline of the determinations devoted to an effectual vaccine for novel Covid-19 that has restricted the domain by means of human health, economy, as well as life.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0353.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; online surveys; vaccines; vaccine literacy
Online: 17 February 2021 (09:36:15 CET)
Rapid online surveys are an important tool in tracking the public’s knowledge and perceptions during infectious disease outbreaks. In June 2020, during the early phases of COVID-19 vaccines development, a survey had been conducted, aimed at assessing attitudes and opinions about vaccination of 885 Italian adults, in addition to their vaccine literacy levels (i.e. skills of finding, understanding and using information about vaccines). In January 2021, the same questionnaire has been administered to a similar population (n=160). Interactive vaccine literacy was significantly higher than in June 2020 (mean score 3.38 vs 3.27 respectively, P=.0021). The percentage of participants willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was assessed by the means of either-or questions, and was equally high in both surveys (>90%), which is quite reassuring, despite metrics based on categorical scales cannot identify hesitant subjects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0033.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: vaccine side effects; inactivated COVID-19 vaccine; sinopharm vaccine; sinovac vaccine; whole attenuated vaccine; COVID-19 vaccination; vaccine hesitancy
Online: 2 September 2022 (05:12:45 CEST)
Vaccination is one of the most effective methods for preventing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccine uptake; driven by misinformation, fear, and perceptions of vaccine safety. Whole inactivated vaccines have been used in one-fifth of the vaccine recipients in Africa, however there is limited real-world data on their safety. We evaluated the reported side effects and factors associated with reported side effects following vaccination with whole inactivated COVID-19 vaccines - BBiBP-CorV (Sinopharm) and CoronaVac (Sinovac). A quantitative survey evaluating attitudes and side effects from vaccination was administered to 1016 adults presenting at vaccination centers. Two follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to determine side effects after the first and second vaccination dose. Overall, the vaccine was well tolerated; 26.0% and 14.4% reported side effects after the first and second dose respectively. The most frequent local and systemic side effects were pain at the injection site and headaches respectively. Most symptoms were mild, and no participants re-quired hospitalization. Participants who perceived COVID-19 vaccines as safe or had a personal COVID-19 experience were significantly less likely to report side effects. Our findings provide data on the safety and tolerability of whole inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in an African population, providing the necessary data to create effective strategies to increase vaccination and support vaccination campaigns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0966.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Vaccination; COVID-19; EMA; Misinformation; Hesitancy
Online: 14 August 2023 (02:56:05 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic made it harder to communicate accurate information about vaccines because of the spread of misinformation. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) tried to reas-sure the public by communicating about the development and approval of COVID-19 vaccines. They surveyed patients/consumers, healthcare professional organizations, and individual stake-holders to see if their core information materials were informative and well understood. They also asked about the public's preferred communication channels. The surveys showed that indi-vidual patients/consumers generally prefer to get information about COVID-19 vaccines from the internet or mass media. Organizations and individual healthcare professionals prefer to get in-formation from national and international health authorities' sources. This supports EMA's ap-proach of using media, stakeholder engagement, and web-based formats to communicate about COVID-19 vaccines. Both at the EU and local levels, participants had a good understanding of the key messages from regulators and found the materials useful and relevant. However, some im-provements were recommended to the visuals, texts, and dissemination formats. These recom-mendations were generally consistent in both contexts. User-testing of proactive communication materials aimed at prebunking misinformation during a public health crisis helps to ensure that users understand the development and safety safeguards of novel vaccine technologies. This in-formation can then be used as a basis for evidence-based communication activities by regulators and public health bodies in an emergency context.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1401.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; booster; vaccine uptake
Online: 21 June 2023 (03:53:52 CEST)
Hispanic/Latino communities have suffered a disproportionate burden due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Puerto Rico has one of the highest COVID-19 primary series vaccination rates nationwide, this estimate contrasts with the low uptake of booster doses (32.7%). This study aimed to assess health belief correlates of COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake. PR-CEAL recruited 787 participants via an online survey between December 2021 and January 2022. Sociodemographic characteristics and questions framed using the Health Belief Model were assessed. Analyses included adjusted Poisson regression models to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) of booster refusal. Overall, 22% of participants planned (10%) or refused (12%) the vaccine booster. Participants with lower income [PR=1.92; 95%CI=1.30, 2.84], in disagreement with vaccine benefits [PR=4.16; 95%CI=3.06, 5.64], and in agreement with booster concerns [PR=2.93; 95%CI=2.12, 4.04], efficacy [PR=2.76; 95%CI=2.00, 3.82], and safety [PR=2.97; 95%CI=2.15, 4.08] were significantly more likely to refuse the booster. Booster vaccination refusal was associated with lower perceived vaccine benefits and higher barriers among adults in Puerto Rico. Results informed CEAL team intervention strategies for public health campaigns to increase booster vaccine uptake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1374.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Information; Sources of information; COVID-19; Vaccine hesitancy
Online: 19 May 2023 (04:20:44 CEST)
Vaccine hesitancy remains a public health challenge. It has been argued that the sources of vaccine-related information may serve as important condiments to one’s decision to be vaccinated. However, little empirical attention is given to the subject. We contribute to this debate by assessing the level of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and the role of information explaining hesitancy, using the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality of South Africa as a case study. Findings confirm high level of vaccine hesitancy, representing 78.8 percent of the respondents (which is above the national level of 41%). Furthermore, findings reveal that vaccination decisions are influenced by family, which is the most trusted among all institutions in the society, especially on sensitive matters and those shrouded by myths and misinformation. Additionally, the majority trusts health care workers and mass media as sources of health-related and general information; however, the use of popular personalities to convey health information is not supported. The findings reveal key socio-demographic and institutional drivers of COVD-9 vaccine hesitancy, such as age, inadequate information on the vaccine, trust issues, conspiracy beliefs, vaccine-related factors, and perceived side effects associated with the vaccine. Recommendations based on the findings are provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0083.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Ratios; Financial Crisis; Covid-19; Big Data; Accounting Data
Online: 3 August 2022 (10:42:06 CEST)
The effects of the 2008 financial crisis undoubtedly caused problems not only to the banking sector but also to the real economy of the developed and the developing countries in almost all around the globe. Besides, as is widely known, every banking crisis entails the corresponding cost to the economy of each country affected by it, which results from the shakeout and the restructuring of its financial system. The purpose of this research is to investigate the consequences of the financial crisis and the COVID-19 health crisis and how these affected the course of the four systemic banks (Eurobank, Alpha Bank, National Bank, Piraeus Bank) through the analysis of ratios for the period of 2015-2020.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0024.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: second COVID-19 booster; vaccination; COVID-19; willingness; predictors; general population
Online: 2 June 2022 (04:07:07 CEST)
Given the concerns of waning immunity from the primary COVID-19 vaccines and the first booster dose, we conducted an on-line cross-sectional study in May 2022 to investigate willingness to receive a second COVID-19 booster dose or a new COVID-19 vaccine and its associated factors. Overall, 22.7% of participants were willing to be vaccinated, 39.3% were unsure, but tend to be willing, 25.8% were unsure, 4.9% were unsure, but tend to be unwilling, and 7.4% were unwilling to be vaccinated. The main reasons against accepting a second COVID‐19 booster dose or a new COVID-19 vaccine COVID-19 dose included concerns about the side effects, the opinion that further vaccination is unnecessary, and effectiveness uncertainties. Males, younger individuals, participants without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, and those with good/very good self-perceived physical health were significantly more frequently willing to receive a second COVID‐19 booster dose or a new COVID-19 vaccine. Also, increased fear of the COVID-19, increased trust in COVID-19 vaccination and decreased fear of a second booster dose or a new COVID-19 vaccine were associated with increased willingness. Our results show some hesitancy and unwillingness toward further COVID-19 vaccination and indicate that fear of COVID-19 and trust in COVID-19 vaccination affect public opinion
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0371.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; pregnancy; infant; MIS-C
Online: 22 August 2022 (04:00:03 CEST)
COVID-19 infection in the pediatric population usually leads to a mild illness, however, a rare but serious complication of MIS-C has been seen in children. MIS-C usually presents 2-4 weeks after COVID-19 infection or exposure, and rare reports have been documented in neonates. Vaccinations for COVID-19 have been approved for children 6 months and above in the United States, and recent reports suggest significantly low prevalence and risk of complications of MIS-C in vaccinated children compared to unvaccinated children. Vaccinations for COVID-19 are safe and recommended during pregnancy and prevent severe maternal morbidity and adverse birth outcomes. Evidence from other vaccine-preventable diseases suggests that through passive transplacental antibody transfer, maternal vaccinations are protective against infections in infants during the first 6 months of life. Various studies have demonstrated that maternal COVID-19 vaccination is associated with the presence of anti-spike protein antibodies in infants, persisting even at 6 months of age. Further, completion of a 2-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series during pregnancy is associated with reduced risk for COVID-19–associated hospitalization among infants aged 6 months or less. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that maternal COVID-19 vaccination can reduce the risk of and severity of MIS-C in infants. In this article, we review the literature to support this hypothesis.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0669.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: case report; COVID-19; mRNA; pulmonary hypertension; vaccine
Online: 8 August 2023 (11:53:56 CEST)
Background: To our knowledge, the sudden onset of symptomatic pulmonary hypertension after COVID-19 vaccination has not been described. Both cases presented here resulted in functional limitations and likely permanent organ damage. Case Summary: We report two cases of acute onset pulmonary hypertension in previously healthy adult males within three weeks of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer (BNT162b2) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from different lots. Both patients experienced the sudden onset of severe fatigue and dyspnea on exertion with negative COVID-19 PCR testing. The diagnosis was made by serial transthoracic echocardiography in the first case and by both transthoracic echocardiography and right heart catheterization in the second. Discussion: Pulmonary hypertension is a serious disease characterized by damage to lung vasculature and restricted blood flow through narrowed arteries from the right to left heart. The onset of symptoms is typically insidious, progressive and incurable, leading to right heart failure and premature death. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies pulmonary hypertension into 5 categories and recently re-defined as a resting mean pulmonary artery pressure greater than 20 mmHg. Sudden onset pulmonary hypertension would only be expected in the settings of surgical pneumonectomy or massive pulmonary emboli with compromise of at least 50% of the lung vasculature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0016.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; acceptance; healthcare workers; knowledge; risk perception; Nigeria.
Online: 1 September 2022 (09:19:42 CEST)
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are regarded as role models regarding health-related issues including vaccination. Therefore, it is essential to identify the predictors for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among them. A cross-sectional study to assess the risk perception, attitudes and knowledge of HCWs toward COVID-19 vaccination was carried out. A total of 710 responses were received between September 2021 to March 2022, from HCWs in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions of Nigeria. Cross tabulations were performed to determine statistical relations between sociodemographic variables, knowledge, attitudes and risk perceptions concerning COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was performed to determine the predictive variables for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Statistical analyses were performed and P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant at a CI of 95%. Results showed that 59.3% of the participants were amenable to COVID-19 vaccines. Multinomial regression analysis identified 14 variables at α <0.05 as predictors for vaccine acceptance. Male HCWs were 2.8 times more likely to accept the vaccine than their female counterparts. HCWs that were knowledgeable of the different kinds of vaccines, willing to recommend the vaccines to their patients, believe that the timing of COVID-19 vaccination was appropriate and had recent vaccination history within three years were 1.6, 24.9, 4.4 and 3.1 times more likely to take COVID-19 vaccine than those not sure. The study found a relatively high trust (51.3%) in the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) for information regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, the NDCD should disseminate more robust insights regarding the safety profiles of various COVID-19 vaccines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0418.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: COVID-19; vaccination; adolescents; parents; school
Online: 27 July 2022 (10:00:43 CEST)
Objectives: This study assessed the associations between parent intent to have their child receive COVID-19 vaccination, and demographic factors and various child activities including attendance at in-person education or childcare. Methods: Persons undergoing COVID-19 testing residing in Minnesota and Los Angeles County, California with children aged <12 years completed anonymous internet-based surveys between May 10 and September 6, 2021 to assess factors associated with intention to vaccinate their child. Factors influencing parents’ decision to have their child attend in person school or childcare were examined. Estimated adjusted odds rations (AORs, 95% CI) were computed between parents’ intentions regarding children’s COVID-19 vaccination and participation in school and extra-curricular activities using multinomial logistic regression. Results: Compared to parents intending to vaccinate their children (n=4,686 [77.2%]), those undecided (n=874 [14.4%] or without intention to vaccinate (n=508 [8.4%]) tended to be younger, non-White, less educated and themselves not vaccinated against COVID-19. Their children more commonly participated in sports (aOR:1.51 1.17-1.95) and in-person faith or community activities (aOR:4.71 (3.62-6.11). They further indicated that additional information regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness would influence their decision. COVID-19 mitigation measures were the most common factors influencing parents’ decision to have their child attend in-person class or childcare. Conclusions: Several demographic and socioeconomic factors are associated with parents’ decision whether to vaccinate their <12-year-old children for COVID-19. Child participation in in-person activities was associated with parents’ intentions not to vaccinate. Tailored communications may be useful to inform parents’ decisions regarding safety and effectiveness of vaccination.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0576.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine; immunosuppressed; cancer; vaccine efficacy
Online: 31 January 2023 (06:26:20 CET)
The effect of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been subsided significantly following the rapid development of vaccine. However, patients with cancer and immunosuppressed state, who are more prone to mortality and morbidity due to this infection, were excluded from majority of the vaccine trials. Moreover, suggested dose modification for cancer and immunosuppressed patients are often not followed because of lack of awareness or unavailability of vaccination schedule. This review will try to bridge this knowledge gap by summarizing the current suggestions of dose modification of COVID-19 vaccine for patients with cancer and immunosuppression.
Subject: Social Sciences, Media Studies Keywords: COVID-19; Twitter; Geo-Tagged; Metropolitan; Computational Social Science
Online: 18 May 2021 (10:24:58 CEST)
One of the unfortunate findings from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is the disproportionate impact the crisis has had on people and communities who were already socioeconomically disadvantaged. It has, however, been difficult to study this issue at scale and in greater detail using social media platforms like Twitter. Several COVID-19 Twitter datasets have been released, but they have very broad scope, both topically and geographically. In this paper, we present a more controlled and compact dataset that can be used to answer a range of potential research questions (especially pertaining to computational social science) without requiring extensive preprocessing or tweet-hydration from the earlier datasets. The proposed dataset comprises tens of thousands of geotagged (and in many cases, reverse-geocoded) tweets originally collected over a 255-day period in 2020 over 10 metropolitan areas in North America. Since there are socioeconomic disparities within these cities (sometimes to an extreme extent, as witnessed in `inner city neighborhoods’ in some of these cities), the dataset can be used to assess such socioeconomic disparities from a social media lens, in addition to comparing and contrasting behavior across cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0474.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Vaccine; COVID-19; Preventive behaviors; Norm; Japan; Panel data
Online: 27 February 2023 (10:28:45 CET)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is key to reducing the probability of contracting COVID-19. The vaccine is generally known to prevent severe illness, death, and hospitalization as a result of the disease and for considerably reducing COVID-19 infection risk. Accordingly, this might significantly change an individual’s perceived risk of altering everyday behaviors. For instance, the proliferation of vaccination is anticipated to reduce preventive behaviors such as staying at home, handwashing, and wearing a mask. We corresponded with the same individuals monthly for 18 months from March 2020 (early stage of COVID-19) to September 2021 in Japan to independently construct large sample panel data (N=54,007), with a participation rate of 54.7 %. We used a fixed effects model, controlling for key confounders, to determine whether vaccination was associated with a change in preventive behaviors. The major findings are as follows. Contrary to the prediction, (1) based on the whole sample, being vaccinated against COVID-19 led people to stay at home; however, it did not change the habit of handwashing and wearing a mask. Especially after the second shot, respondents were likelier to stay at home by 0.107 (95% CIs: 0.059–0.154) points on a 5-point scale compared to before the vaccination. Dividing the entire sample into young and old, (2) those aged ≤ 40 years were more likely to go out after being vaccinated, and (3) people over 40 years of age were more likely to stay at home (similar to the first result). Preventive behaviors impact all individuals during the current pandemic. Informal social norms motivate people to increase or maintain preventive behaviors even after being vaccinated in societies where these behaviors are not enforced.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine; vaccine hesitancy; Healthcare Workers; Flu vaccine; Influenza; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 12 April 2021 (12:33:15 CEST)
Despite the research conducted worldwide, there is no treatment specific for SARS-CoV-2 infection with efficacy proven by randomized controlled trials. A chance for a breakthrough is vaccinating the majority of the global population. The public opinion surveys on vaccine hesitancy prompted our team to investigate the Polish medical community's attitude towards the SARS-CoV-2 and influenza vaccinations. In-person and online surveys of Healthcare Workers (HCWs): doctors, nurses, medical students, and other allied health professionals (n=419) took place between 14.09.2020 and 5.11.2020. In our study, 68.7% of respondents would like to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. The safety and efficacy of vaccination against COVID-19 would persuade 86.3% of hesitant and those who would refuse to be vaccinated. 3.1% of all respondents claimed that no argument would convince them to get vaccinated. 61.6% of respondents declared a willingness to receive an influenza vaccination, of which 83.3% were also inclined to receive the planned COVID-19 vaccination. Although a significant part of respondents - 62.5% (262/419) indicated, they trusted the influenza vaccine more than the COVID-19 vaccine in direct comparison, more respondents intended to get the COVID-19 vaccination than the influenza vaccine in the 2020/2021 season.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0056.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Covid-19; antibody response; vaccination; kidney transplant recipients
Online: 1 August 2023 (10:38:45 CEST)
The Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with a high rate of mortality in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). The current vaccine strategy for KTRs seems to be unable to provide effective protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  and the occurrence of severe COVID-19 in some vaccinated KTRs suggested a lack of immunity. We analized here the antibody response in a group of 32 kidney transplant recipients (KTR) followed at the Nephrology and Dialysis unit of the Hospital Pio XI of Desio, Italy, compared with a group of 23 healthy workers classified as Late responders (HCW-LR) (10 males age 27-62) and 13 females (age 46-64). We observed that the patients need additional vaccine boosters due to their immunocompromised status and therapy to protect them from infections related to viral variants, in accordance with the literature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0102.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; pandemic; DNA vaccine; immunity; protection
Online: 8 October 2022 (03:02:18 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has caused more than 600 million cases and over 6 million deaths worldwide. Vaccination has been the main strategy used to contain the spread of the virus, and to avoid hospitalizations and deaths. Currently, there are two mRNA-based and one adenovirus vectored vaccines approved and available for use in the U.S. population. The versatility, low cost and rapid-to-manufacture attributes of DNA vaccines are important advantages over other platforms. However, DNA vaccination must meet higher efficiency levels for use in humans. Importantly, in vivo DNA delivery combined with electroporation (EP) has been successfully used in the veterinary field. Here we evaluated the safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a novel linear SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine candidate for delivered by intramuscular injection followed by electroporation (Vet-ePorator™) in ferrets. The results demonstrated that the linear SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine candidate did not cause unexpected side effects, and was able to elicit neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses using a low dose of the linear DNA construct in prime-boost regimen, and significantly reduced shedding of infectious SARS-CoV-2 through oral and nasal secretions in a ferret model.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: COVID-19; SARS 2; coronavirus; Th17; eosinophils; heart disease
Online: 9 April 2020 (14:45:33 CEST)
Increasing evidence points to host Th17 inflammatory responses as contributing to the severe lung pathology and mortality of lower respiratory tract infections from coronaviruses. This includes host inflammatory and cytokine responses to COVID-19 caused by the SARS-2 coronavirus (SARS CoV2). From studies conducted in laboratory animals, there are additional concerns about immune enhancement and the role of potential host immunopathology resulting from experimental human COVID-19 vaccines. Here we summarize evidence suggesting there may be partial overlap between the underlying immunopathologic processes linked to both coronavirus infection and vaccination, and a role for Th17 in immune enhancement and eosinophilic pulmonary immunopathology. Such findings help explain the link between viral-vectored coronavirus vaccines and immune enhancement and its reduction through alum adjuvants. Additional research may also clarify links between COVID-19 pulmonary immunopathology and heart disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0082.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: COVID-19; vaccination; nationalism; conspiracy theories; mandatory vaccination
Online: 4 November 2022 (01:06:55 CET)
A large body of research has examined people’s attitudes toward mandatory vaccination to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, studies have yet to explore how Chinese people view the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, let alone placing such views in the country’s highly politicized context. On the other hand, facing the high pressure of loosening its zero-COVID policies amidst the worldwide practices of co-existing with the COVID-19 virus, the country has to improve its vaccination coverage quickly. In this situation, it is more than necessary to systematically investigate the Chinese public’s attitude to mandatory vaccination against the virus and the underlying determinants. The current study utilizes data from a national survey adopting quota sampling to analyze the Chinese public’s medical and non-medical considerations when judging compulsory COVID-19 vaccination. The study reveals that thanks to China’s successful lockdown policies, personal risk, and benefit perceptions did not dominate their views regarding vaccination mandates. Instead, conspiracy beliefs regarding the pandemic outbreaks, conspiratorial thinking, and nationalism more strongly predicted their willingness to accept mandatory vaccination. Given the potentially massive impacts of the COVID-19 infection, if China opens its door and loosens its strict quarantine restrictions, the Chinese public needs to be educated with more medically valuable and relevant information to improve their vaccination protection against COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0410.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Gastroenterology And Hepatology Keywords: COVID-19 variants; COVID-19 vaccine; IBD; ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease; anti-TNF
Online: 29 June 2022 (15:02:36 CEST)
Management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often relies on biological and immunomodulatory agents for remission through immunosuppression, raising concerns regarding the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine's effectiveness. The emergent variants have hindered the vaccine neutralization capacity, and whether the third vaccine dose has the capacity to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants in this population remains unknown. This study aims to evaluate the humoral response of SARS-CoV-2 variants in patients with IBD 60 days after the third vaccine dose [BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna)].56 su bjects with IBD and 12 healthy subjects were recruited. 90% of patients with IBD (49/56) were receiving biologics and/or immunomodulatory therapy. 24 subjects with IBD did not develop effective neutralizing capability against the Omicron variant. 70% (17/24) of those subjects were receiving anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor therapy [10= adalimumab, 7= infliximab], two of them had a history of COVID-19 infection, and one subject did not develop immune neutralization against three other variants: Gamma, Epsilon, and Kappa. All subjects in the control group developed detectable antibodies and effective neutralization against all seven SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our study shows that patients with IBD might not be protected against SARS-CoV-2 variants, and larger studies are needed to evaluate optimal immunity.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0364.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19; immunogenicity; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; neutralizing antibodies; durability; booster
Online: 14 April 2023 (10:20:45 CEST)
Vaccines are crucial for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and booster doses are becoming increasingly important. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca as a third dose in healthcare workers at different time intervals (one, three, and six months). Two methods to measure immune response—ELISA (EUROIMMUN Medizinische Labordiagnostika AG, Luebeck, Germany) and ELISpot (Mabtech AB, Macka Strand, Sweden)—were used. A total of 170 participants were included in the study. The results showed that while IgG levels decreased at six months compared to levels at one and three months, they were still significantly higher than the baseline. Furthermore, neutralizing levels at three and six months after the third dose were not significantly different. These findings suggest that the immune response induced by the vaccine is robust and effective for several months. These results have significant implications for public health policymakers, as they provide strong support for booster vaccinations. The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine appears to be a reliable option for preventing the spread of COVID-19, and this study provides valuable information for healthcare workers and policymakers in managing the pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0078.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine; vaccine development; vaccine discovery; systems biology; machine learning; platform technologies; adjuvants; smart clinical trials; human genetics; regulatory convergence; real world evidence; vaccines safety
Online: 7 June 2020 (10:11:02 CEST)
The urgency to develop vaccines against Covid-19 is putting pressure on the long and expensive development timelines which are normally required for development of lifesaving vaccines. There is a unique opportunity to take advantage of new technologies, smart and flexible design of clinical trials, and evolving regulatory science to speed up vaccine development against Covid-19 and transform vaccine development altogether.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0146.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: COVID-19; COVID; Omicron; online learning; remote learning; online education; Twitter; dataset; Tweets; social media; Big Data
Online: 21 July 2022 (08:05:19 CEST)
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0507.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; vaccine; immunity; immune escape; mutations
Online: 7 September 2023 (10:45:47 CEST)
The newly emerged variants of SARS-CoV-2 created a potential threat among societies and highlighted one of the significant concerns in facing the pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations in the structural protein, especially in the RBD domain of spike protein, have raised concern about potential immune escape. The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 play a vital role in infection and is an important target for neutralizing antibodies. The mutations that occur in the structural proteins, especially in the spike protein, lead to changes in the virus attributes of transmissibility, an increase in disease severity, a notable reduction in neutralizing antibodies generated, and thus a decreased response to vaccines and therapy. The immune response against SARS-CoV-2 has been reported mainly through innate immune responses rather than adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 invades the host's innate immunity, possibly through inducing cytokine storm, impairing type I IFN responses, and suppressing antigens presentation to T cells. Therefore, the adaptive immune response is required to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The SARS-CoV-2 infections activated both arms of adaptive immunity; humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The observed multiple mutations in the RBD domain of the spike protein compromised the adaptive immune response and showed immune escape because it increases the affinity of spike protein binding with the ACE-2 receptor of host cells and increases resistance to neutralizing antibodies. Cytotoxic T-cell responses are crucial in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infections from the infected tissues and clearing them from circulation. CD8+cytotoxic T cells identify and directly kill the infected cells by releasing soluble mediators perforin and granzymes. The functional exhaustion of cytotoxic T cells may increase the severity of the disease. The expression of activation markers of T cells could indicate hyperactivation or functional exhaustion; the exact implication is not yet understood in SARS-CoV-2 infections. These mutations at critical residues influence the antigenic profile of SARS-CoV-2, which may evade the immune responses and thus reduce the immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines. Therefore, the spike protein may be recognized as a primary target for vaccines and drugs. This review article summarizes the impact of mutations in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, especially mutations of RBD, on immunogenicity, immune escape, and vaccine-induced immunity, which could potentially contribute to future studies focusing on vaccine design and immunotherapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0631.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; In silico; Immunoinformatics; Vaccine designing
Online: 26 September 2020 (13:01:26 CEST)
As the number of infections and deaths caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic is increasing dramatically day-by-day, scientists are rushing towards developing possible counter-measures to fight the deadly virus, SARS-CoV-2. Although many efforts have already been put forward for designing and developing potential vaccines, however, most of them are proved to possess negative consequences. Therefore, in this study, the methods of immunoinformatics were exploited to design novel epitope-based subunit vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2, targeting four essential proteins of the virus i.e., spike glycoprotein, nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, membrane glycoprotein, and envelope protein. The highly antigenic, non-allergenic, non-toxic, non-human homolog and 100% conserved (across other isolates from different regions of the world) epitopes were used for constructing the vaccine. In total, fourteen CTL epitopes and eighteen HTL epitopes were used to construct the vaccine. Thereafter, several in silico validations i.e., the molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation (including the RMSF and RMSD studies), and immune simulation studies were also performed which predicted that the designed vaccine should be quite safe, effective, and stable within the biological environment. Finally, in silico cloning and codon adaptation studies were also conducted to design an effective mass production strategy of the vaccine. However, more in vivo and in vitro studies are required on the predicted vaccine to finally validate its safety and efficacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0224.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine effectiveness; healthcare workers; Georgia; delta
Online: 7 October 2023 (03:27:13 CEST)
Background Healthcare workers (HCWs) have suffered considerable morbidity and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) are available from middle-income countries in Europe. We evaluated primary series COVID-19 VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among HCWs in Georgia. Methods HCWs in six hospitals in Georgia were invited to enroll in a prospective cohort study conducted during March 19–December 5, 2021. Participants completed weekly symptom questionnaires. Symptomatic HCWs were tested by RT-PCR and/or rapid antigen test (RAT), and participants were routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR or RAT, regardless of symptoms. Serology was collected at enrolment, and quarterly thereafter, and tested by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We defined primary series vaccination as two doses of COVID-19 vaccine received ≥14 days before symptom onset. We estimated VE as (1-hazard ratio)*100 using a Cox proportional hazards model with vaccination status as a time-varying covariate. Estimates were adjusted by potential confounders that changed the VE estimate by more than 5%, according to the change-in-estimate approach. Results Overall, 1561/3849 (41%) eligible HCWs enrolled and were included in the analysis. The median age was 40 (IQR: 30-53), 1318 (84%) were female, and 1003 (64%) had laboratory evidence of prior SARS-Cov-2 infection. At enrolment, 1300 (83%) were unvaccinated; By study end, 1082 (62%) had completed a primary vaccine series (69% BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech); 22% BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm); 9% other). During the study period, 191(12%) participants had a new PCR- or RAT-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. VEa gainst PCR- or RAT- confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was 58 (95%CI: 41; 70) for all primary series vaccinations, 68% (95%CI: 51; 79) for BNT162b2, and 40% (95%CI: 1; 64) for BBIBP-CorV vaccines. Among previously infected HCWs, VE was 58% (95%CI: 11; 80). VE against medically attended COVID-19 was 52% (95%CI: 28; 68), and VE against hospitalization was 69% (95% CI: 36; 85). During the period of predominant Delta variant circulation (July-December 2021), VE against symptomatic COVID-19 was 52% (95%CI: 30; 66). Conclusions Primary series vaccination with BNT162b2 and BBIBP-CorV was effective at preventing COVID-19 among HCWs, most of whom had previous infection, during a period of mainly Delta circulation. Our results support the utility of COVID-19 primary vaccine series, and the importance of increasing coverage, even among previously infected individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0425.v1
Online: 24 January 2023 (08:14:15 CET)
While vaccines are a well-established method of controlling the spread of infectious diseases, vaccine hesitancy jeopardizes curbing the spread of COVID-19. Through the Vaccine Information Network (VIN), this study explored barriers and motivators to COVID-19 vaccine uptake. We conducted 18 focus group discussions with male and female community members, stratified by country, age group, and—for Zimbabwe only—by HIV status. Participants’ median age across both countries was 40 years (interquartile range of 22–40) and most (65.9%) were female. We conceptualized the key themes within the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) 3Cs (convenience, confidence, complacency) vaccine hesitancy model. Barriers to vaccine uptake—lack of convenience, low confidence, and high complacency—included inaccessibility of vaccines and vaccination sites, vaccine safety and development concerns, and disbelief in COVID-19’s existence. Motivators to vaccine uptake—convenience, confidence and low complacency—included accessibility of vaccination sites, user-friendly registration processes, trust in governments and vaccines, fear of dying from COVID-19 and knowing someone who had died or become infected with COVID-19. Overall, vaccine hesitancy in South Africa and Zimbabwe was influenced by inconvenience, a lack of confidence, and high complacency around COVID-19 vaccines.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0138.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; ADE; antibody depedendent enhancement
Online: 8 March 2020 (15:35:27 CET)
Background: In 80% of patients, COVID-19 presents as mild disease1,2. 20% of cases develop severe (13%) or critical (6%) illness. More severe forms of COVID-19 present as clinical severe acute respiratory syndrome, but include a T-predominant lymphopenia3, high circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, accumulation of neutrophils and macrophages in lungs, and immune dysregulation including immunosuppression4. Methods: All major SARS-CoV-2 proteins were characterized using an amino acid residue variation analysis method. Results predict that most SARS-CoV-2 proteins are evolutionary constrained, with the exception of the spike (S) protein extended outer surface. Results were interpreted based on known SARS-like coronavirus virology and pathophysiology, with a focus on medical countermeasure development implications. Findings: Non-neutralizing antibodies to variable S domains may enable an alternative infection pathway via Fc receptor-mediated uptake. This may be a gating event for the immune response dysregulation observed in more severe COVID-19 disease. Prior studies involving vaccine candidates for FCoV5,6 SARS-CoV-17-10 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 11 demonstrate vaccination-induced antibody-dependent enhancement of disease (ADE), including infection of phagocytic antigen presenting cells (APC). T effector cells are believed to play an important role in controlling coronavirus infection; pan-T depletion is present in severe COVID-19 disease3 and may be accelerated by APC infection. Sequence and structural conservation of S motifs suggests that SARS and MERS vaccine ADE risks may foreshadow SARS-CoV-2 S-based vaccine risks. Autophagy inhibitors may reduce APC infection and T-cell depletion12 13. Amino acid residue variation analysis identifies multiple constrained domains suitable as T cell vaccine targets. Evolutionary constraints on proven antiviral drug targets present in SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 may reduce risk of developing antiviral drug escape mutants. Interpretation: Safety testing of COVID-19 S protein-based B cell vaccines in animal models is strongly encouraged prior to clinical trials to reduce risk of ADE upon virus exposure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Protection Measures; Observational Study; Pandemics
Online: 6 March 2023 (15:36:27 CET)
Preventive behavior is one of the main strategies to contain the spread of the coronavirus, understand the factors that influence adherence or hesitation to protective measures and the way the population behaves during a health crisis is of great importance. Aim: To analyze the factors associated with adherence to protection measures against Covid-19 in Brazil. Method: cross-sectional study, survey type online, between the period of August 2020 and February 2021. The population included in the study were Brazilians, aged 18 years or older. Non-probabilistic sampling was used to obtain the sample. The data was stored on the "Redcap" platform and analyzed in a descriptive and inferential approach. Results: The sample consisted of 1,516 people, women adopted 10% more protective measures than men, people with higher education level and higher income, within the age group between 40-59 years, were those who most adhered to the measures imposed by health agencies. Carrier of Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, Systemic Arterial Hypertension, Obesity and smoking were factors that increased the adherence of protective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Conclusion: Being female, aged between 40 and 59 years, higher education, smoking, not having a religion, having health insurance, and being a carrier of chronic diseases were associated with greater adherence to protective measures against COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0433.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: adjuvant; COVID-19; immunogenic epitopes; peptide vaccine; subunit vaccine; molecular dynamics simulation
Online: 29 March 2020 (11:14:42 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease that was first reported in Wuhan, China and has subsequently spread worldwide. In the absence of any antiviral or immunomodulatory therapies, the disease is spreading at an alarming rate. 5 to 10% of recovered patients in Wuhan test positive again; this suggest that for controlling COVID-19, vaccines may be better option than drugs. A clinical trial to evaluate an anti-COVID-19 vaccine has started recently. However, its efficacy and potency have to be evaluated and validated. As an alternative, we are presenting a first-of-its-kind, designed multi-peptide subunit based epitope vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine construct comprise an adjuvant, CTL, HTL, and B-cell epitopes joined by linkers. The vaccine is non-toxic, non-allergenic, thermostable and immunogenic with the capability to elicit a humoral and cell-mediated immune response. The findings are validated with high-end computation-based methods. This unique vaccine is made up of 33 highly antigenic epitopes from three proteins that have a prominent role in host receptor recognition, viral entry, and pathogenicity. We advocate this vaccine must be synthesized and tested urgently as public health priority.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0060.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: vaccination; acceptance; Covid-19; epidemiology; Cameroon; urban area; rural area
Online: 3 February 2023 (06:23:26 CET)
The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly evolved in December 2019 and to prevent its spread, effective vaccines has been produced and made available to the population. Despite their availability so far in Cameroon, the vaccination coverage remains low. This study aimed at describing the epidemiology of the acceptance of vaccines against Covid-19 in some urban and rural areas of Cameroon. A cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical survey was conducted from March 2021 to August 2021 targeting unvaccinated individuals from urban and rural area. After getting appropriate administrative authorizations and an ethical clearance from the Institutional Review Board (or Ethics Committee) of Douala University (N° 3070CEI-Udo/05/2022/M), a cluster sampling at many degrees was performed and a language adapted questionnaire was filled by each consenting participant. Data were analyzed using Epi info version 22.214.171.124 software and for P-values ˂ 0.05, the difference was considered as statistically significant. Out of 1053 individuals, 58.02% (611/1053) participants were residing in urban and 41.98% (442/1053) in rural areas. Good knowledge relative to Covid-19 was significantly higher in urban areas as compared to rural areas (97.55%vs.85.07, P<0.000). The proportion of respondents who intended to accept the anti Covid-19 vaccine was significantly higher in urban areas than rural areas (42.55%vs.33.26, p=0.0047). Conversely, the proportion of anti Covid-19 reluctant respondents thinking that the vaccine can induce a disease was significantly higher in rural areas than urban areas (54 (35.07 vs 8.84, P<0.0001). The significant determinants of anti-COVID-19 acceptance were the level of education (p=0.0001) and profession in the rural areas (p=<0.0001), and only the profession (p=0.0046) in the urban areas. This study globally shows that anti-COVID-19 vaccination remains a major challenge in urban as well as rural area in Cameroon. We should keep sensitizing and educate population about vaccine importance in preventing the COVID-19 spread.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0087.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; design drugs; ACE2; prophylaxis
Online: 7 April 2020 (11:02:13 CEST)
At the time of reception of this article (April 2, 2020), efforts to develop a specific vaccine against SARS-Cov-2, the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), had just begun trial phase 1, but full validation of this and other current developments is likely to take many more months to reach completion. The ongoing pandemic constitutes a major health burden of world proportions that is also having a devastating impact on whole economies worldwide, the knock-on effects of which could be catastrophic especially in poorer countries. Alternative measures to ameliorate the impact and hamper or minimally slow down disease progression are urgently called for. This review discusses past and currently evolving data on the etiological agent of the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, and its host cell receptors with a view to disclosing alternative drugs for palliative or therapeutic approaches. Firstly, SARS-CoV-2 exhibits marked tropism for cells that harbor the membrane-bound metalloprotease angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) at their plasmalemma, predominantly in cells lining the oral cavity, upper respiratory tract, and bronchoalveolar cells, making these epithelial mucosae the most likely viral receptor cell targets and entry routes. Secondly, the crystal structures of several coronavirus spike proteins in complex with their cell host target receptors, and of SARS-Cov-2 in complex with an inhibitor, are now available at atomic resolution through X-ray diffraction and cryo-electron microscopy studies. Thirdly, viral entry of other viruses has been successfully blocked by inhibiting viral endogenous proteases or clathrin/dynamin-dependent endocytosis, the same internalization pathway followed by ACE2 and some viruses. Fourthly, the target cell-surface receptor molecules and SARS-CoV-2 possess other putative sites for drugs potentially modulating receptor activity or virus processing. A multi-pronged pharmacological approach attacking more than one flank of the viral-receptor interactions is worth considering as a front-line strategy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1607.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-COV2; rational vaccine design; coronavirus; epitope prediction; antibodies; RNA vaccines
Online: 27 November 2023 (07:20:43 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted global health and economies, necessitating the development of effective vaccines against the novel virus. Understanding the structure and function of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for rational vaccine design. The virus consists of several key proteins, including the spike protein, envelope protein, membrane protein, and nucleocapsid protein. The spike protein plays a crucial role in host cell entry by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on human cells. The replication of the virus within host cells is facilitated by various viral proteins, such as the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and the main protease (Mpro). Rational vaccine design strategies for SARS-CoV-2 primarily focus on targeting the spike protein due to its role in host cell entry. However, developing vaccines against this protein is challenging due to its highly mutable nature and potential conformational changes. Alternative strategies involve using other viral proteins, such as the nucleocapsid protein, which is conserved and essential for viral replication. Considering T-cell responses in vaccine design is also vital as they play a vital role in controlling viral infections. Vaccines that elicit both antibody and T-cell responses are more likely to provide robust and durable immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Advancements in rational vaccine design for SARS-CoV-2 include mRNA-based vaccines, viral vector-based vaccines, and protein subunit vaccines. However, challenges remain in developing a universally effective vaccine, including the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and mutations that may affect the efficacy of existing vaccines. In conclusion, rational vaccine design for SARS-CoV-2 requires a comprehensive understanding of the virus's structure and function, targeting key viral proteins, and considering T-cell responses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0055.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine hesitancy; young children; parents; health disparities, social determinants
Online: 2 August 2022 (09:22:32 CEST)
On 17 June 2022, the U.S. FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines for emergency use in children ages 6 months – 4 years. Seroprevalence has increased during the current Omicron variant wave for children under 5 years and the burden of hospitalization for this age group is similar or exceeds other pediatric vaccine preventable diseases. Research following the October 2021 approval of vaccines for children 5 – 11 indicates high prevalence of parental vaccine hesitancy and low uptake, underscoring the urgency of understanding attitudes and beliefs driving parental COVID-19 vaccine rejection and acceptance for younger children. One month prior to FDA approval, in the present study 411 U.S. female guardians of children 1 – 4 years from diverse racial/ethnic, economic, and geographic backgrounds participated in a mixed method online survey assessing determinants of COVID-19 pediatric vaccine hesitancy. Only 31.3% of parents intended to vaccinate their child, 22.6% were unsure, and 46.2% intended not to vaccinate. Logistic regression indicated significant barriers to vaccination uptake including: Concerns about immediate and long-term vaccination side effects for young children, the rushed nature of FDA approval and distrust in government and pharmaceutical companies, lack of community and family support for pediatric vaccination, conflicting media messaging, and lower socioeconomic status. Vaccine-resistant and unsure parents were also more likely to believe children were not susceptible to infection and that the vaccine no longer worked against new variants. Findings underscore the need for improved public health messaging and transparency regarding vaccine development and approval, the importance of community outreach, and increased pediatrician attention to parental concerns to better improve COVID vaccine uptake for young children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1441.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: Vaccine hesitancy; Vaccination, COVID-19; Predictors; Prevalence; Health workers
Online: 19 May 2023 (11:58:06 CEST)
Introduction: COVID-19 vaccines have been the most effective means in curbing the infection, however, vaccine hesitancy has been seen as a threat to global health. Objective: the study aimed to assess the prevalence and predictors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers in infectious disease centers in Ghana. Method: A cross-sectional study and proportionate stratified sampling method was used to recruit participants from various infectious disease centers. Result: data from 170 participants were analyzed, revealing a low prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (11.2%) among healthcare workers. However, only 31.1% of the fully vaccinated participants had taken the booster dose. Factors such as concerns about vaccine safety and side effects from previous doses, indecisiveness, a lack of time to receive the vaccine and lack of access to accurate information, prefered natural immunity were the significant predictors of vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers. Participants with good perception of the risk posed by COVID-19 was positively correlated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Conclusion: the study suggests that policies should be enacted to ensure health workers are vaccinated against highly contagious infectious diseases to prevent their spread among the general population. Training and health promotion campaigns should also be organized to encourage healthcare workers to accept and patronize the vaccines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0271.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; de novo vaccine; epitope; immunity
Online: 16 May 2020 (17:07:43 CEST)
Currently, with a large number of fatality rates, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a potential threat to human health worldwide. It has been well-known that severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for COVID-19 and World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed the contagious disease as a global pandemic. Researchers from different parts of the world amalgamate together inquest of remedies for this deadly virus. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the spike glycoprotein (SGP) of SARS-CoV-2 is the mediator behind the entrance into the host cells. Our group has comprehensibly analyzed the SGP of SARS-CoV-2 through multiple sequence analysis along with the phylogenetic analysis. Further, this research work predicted the most immunogenic epitopes for both B-cell and T-cell. Notably, we focused mainly on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I potential peptides and predicted two epitopes; WTAGAAAYY and GAAAYYVGY, that bind with the MHC class I alleles which are further validated by molecular docking analysis. Furthermore, this study also proposed that the selected epitopes were shown availability in a greater range of the population. Hence, our study comes up with a strong base for the implementation of designing novel vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2, however adequate laboratory works will need to be conducted for the appropriate application.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1190.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: B cell response; mRNA vaccination; Computational analysis; SARS-COV-2; COVID-19
Online: 17 May 2023 (05:01:27 CEST)
The mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have demonstrated efficacy and immunogenicity in the re-al-world setting. However, most of the research on vaccine immunogenicity has been centered on characterizing the antibody response, with limited exploration into the persistence of spike-specific memory B cell response. Here we monitored the durability of the memory B cell response and characterize the trajectory of spike-specific B cell phenotypes in healthy individuals who have received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine up to 9 months post-vaccination. To profile the spike-specific B cell response we applied the tSNE and Cytotree automated approaches. Our data showed the induction of spike-specific IgA+ and IgG+ plasmablasts and IgA+ activated cells 7 days after the second dose which disappeared 3 months later, while subsets of spike-specific IgG+ resting memory B cells became predominant 9 months after vaccination, and they were capable to differentiate into spike-specific IgG secreting cells when in vitro restimulated. Other subsets of spike-specific B cells, such as IgM+ or unswitched IgM+IgD+ or IgG+ double negative/atypical cells, were also elicited by the BNT162b2 vaccine and persisted up to month 9. The analysis of circulating spike-specific IgG, IgA and IgM was in line with the plasmablasts observed. The longitudinal analysis of the antigen-specific B cell response elicited by mRNA-based vaccines provides valuable insights into our understanding of the immunogenicity of this novel vaccine platform destined to a future widespread use, and it is crucial in guiding future decisions and vaccination schedules.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0386.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; seroprevalence; antibodies; vaccine; natural infection; French Polynesia
Online: 21 December 2022 (04:56:44 CET)
In French Polynesia, Wuhan, Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants-of-concern (VOCs) caused epidemics with variable severities. We assessed the prevalence and titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies related to natural infection and/or vaccination, from a representative sample (N=673) of the adult population of Tahiti recruited during November-December 2021 (after the Delta outbreak and just before the Omicron epidemic). Of the 673 participants tested, 644 (95.7%) had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2-S and/or -N proteins resulting from natural infection and/or vaccination, and 388 (57.7%) were positive only for the detection of anti-N antibodies indicating natural infection. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence extrapolated to the adult population of Tahiti was estimated at 95.9%. Concentrations of anti-SARS-CoV-2-S antibodies significantly increased with age, number of self-reported SARS-CoV-2 infections (0 or ≥1), and number of COVID-19 vaccine doses (0, 1, 2, or 3) received by the participants. Elderly people, who are at higher risk of severe outcomes, had received more vaccine doses than younger individuals both in our sample and in the general population. The high level of antibody responses related to past infections and vaccination, especially booster doses, has likely contributed to reducing the severity of the Omicron outbreak in French Polynesia.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Arterial and Venous Thrombosis; COVID-19 disease; SARS-CoV-2 infection; vaccines
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:46:33 CEST)
The Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global pandemic that has affected millions of people worldwide. The advent of vaccines, however, has permitted some restitution. Aside from the respiratory complications of the infection, there is also a thrombotic risk attributed to both the disease alongside the vaccine. There are no reliable data for the risk of thromboembolism in SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients managed out with the hospital setting. A literature review was performed to identify the pathophysiological mechanism of thrombosis from the SARS-CoV-2 infection including the role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme receptors. The impact of the vaccine and likely mechanisms from thrombosis following vaccination was also clarified. Finally, the utility of the vaccines available against the multiple variants is also highlighted. The systemic response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is still relatively poorly understood, but several risk factors have been identified. The roll-out of the vaccines worldwide has also allowed the lifting of lockdown measures and a reduction in the spread of the disease. The experience of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, has highlighted the crucial role of epidemiological research and the need for ongoing studies within this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0131.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: BNT162b2 vaccine; Pfizer/BioNTech; cardiovascular events; COVID-19
Online: 4 September 2023 (08:19:54 CEST)
The analysis reported here is unique in that it is the first study of the original data from the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine clinical trial (CA4591001) to be carried out by a group unaffiliated with the trial sponsor. Our study is a forensic analysis of the 38 trial subjects who died between July 27, 2020, the start of Phase 2/3 of the clinical trial, and March 13, 2021, the data end date of their 6-Month Interim Report. Phase 2/3 of the trial involved 44,060 subjects who were equally distributed into two groups and received Dose 1 of either the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated or the Placebo control (0.9% normal saline). At Week 20, when the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. FDA, subjects in the placebo arm were given the option to be BNT162b2 vaccinated. All but a few accepted. Surprisingly, a comparison of the number of subject deaths per week during the 33 Weeks of this study found no significant difference between the number of deaths in the vaccinated versus placebo arms for the first 20 weeks of the trial, the placebo-controlled portion of the trial. After Week 20, as subjects in the Placebo were unblinded and vaccinated, deaths among this still unvaccinated cohort of this group slowed and eventually plateaued. Deaths in the BNT162b2 vaccinated subjects continued at the same rate. Our analysis revealed inconsistencies between the subject data listed in the 6-Month Interim Report and publications authored by Pfizer/BioNTech trial site administrators. Most importantly, we found evidence of an over 3.7-fold increase in number of deaths due to cardiovascular events in BNT162b2 vaccinated subjects compared to Placebo controls. This significant adverse event signal was not reported by Pfizer/BioNTech. Potential sources of these data inconsistencies are identified.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0243.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; Vaccines; Adverse Events; Self-reporting; Pandemic
Online: 18 May 2022 (11:06:19 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on health systems worldwide. Mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 has reduced morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite their safety profiles, vaccines like any other medical product can cause adverse events. Yet, in countries with poor epidemiological surveillance and monitoring systems, reporting vaccine-related adverse events is scarce. The objective of this study was to describe self-reported vaccine adverse events after receiving one of the available COVID-19 vaccine schemes in Ecuador. A cross-sectional analysis based on an online self-reporting 32-questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from April 1st to July 15th, 2021. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 6,654 participants were included in this study. A 38.2% of the participants reported having at least one comorbidity. Patients received AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines, and these were distributed 38.4%, 31.1%, and 30.5%, respectively. Pain, inflammation at the injection site (20,01%), and headache (16,91%) were the most reported adverse events. Women addressed ESAVIs (64%), more often than men (36%). After receiving the first dose of any available COVID-19 vaccine, a total of 19,481 self-reported ESAVIs were informed (86.9% were mild, 11.6% moderate and 1.5% severe). In terms of vaccine type and brand, the most reactogenic vaccine was AstraZeneca with 57.8%, followed by Pfizer (24.9%) and Sinovac (17, 3 %). After the second dose, 6,757 self-reported ESAVIs were reported (87.0% mild, 10.9% moderate, and 2.1% severe). AstraZeneca vaccine users reported a higher proportion of ESAVIs (72.2%) in comparison to Pfizer/BioNTech (15.9%) and Sinovac Vaccine (11.9%). Swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue were the most common ESAVIs for the first as well as second dose. In conclusion, most ESAVIs were mild. AstraZeneca users were more likely to report adverse events. Participants without a history of COVID-19 infection, as well as those who receive the first dose, were more prone to report ESAVIs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0422.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: cystic fibrosis; SARS-CoV-2; Covid-19, vaccine; antibody response; humoral response
Online: 27 July 2022 (13:29:14 CEST)
During the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, people with CF (pwCF) were considered a clinically vulnerable population. However, data on immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in pwCF are lacking. We conducted a prospective study enrolling all patients aged >12 and followed-up in our CF centre, who received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine in March-October 2021. They underwent a blood sample for quantification of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain immediately before receiving the first dose and after 3 and 6 months from the second dose. We enrolled 143 patients (median age: 21 years, range: 13-38); of whom 16 had a previous infection. Median antibody titer (interquartile range) after 3 months from vaccination was 1288 U/mL (730-2115) and decreased to 918 U/mL (534-1488) after 6 months (P<0.0001). Median values were higher among previously infected patients as compared to those naïve to SARS-CoV-2 (9107 vs 1229 U/mL at 3 months and 4810 vs 829 U/mL at 6 months, P<0.0001) with no significant differences in the rate of decline over time (P=0.135). All pwCF mounted an antibody response after two-doses of BNT162b2 vaccine that waned at 6 months from vaccination. Age ≥30 years and use of inhaled corticosteroids were associated with a lower humoral response.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0139.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Immune escape; Vaccine efficacy; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 30 September 2023 (07:44:51 CEST)
(1) Background: We previously reported the development of a recombinant protein SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, consisting of the Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, adjuvanted with aluminum hydroxide (alum) and CpG oligonucleotides. In mice and non-human primates, our wild-type (WT) RBD vaccine induced high neutralizing antibody titers against the WT isolate of the virus, and, with partners in India and Indonesia it was later developed into two closely resembling human vaccines, Corbevax and Indovac. Here, we describe the development and characterization of a next-generation vaccine adapted to the recently emerging XBB variants of SARS-CoV-2. (2) Methods: We conducted preclinical studies in mice using a novel yeast-produced SARS-CoV-2 XBB.1.5 RBD subunit vaccine candidate formulated with alum and CpG. We examined the neutralization profile of sera obtained from mice vaccinated twice intramuscularly at a 21-day interval with the XBB.1.5-based RBD vaccine, against WT, Beta, Delta, BA.4, BQ.1.1, BA.2.75.2, XBB.1.16, XBB.1.5 and EG.5.1 SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses. (3) Results: The XBB.1.5 RBD/CpG/alum vaccine elicited a robust antibody response in mice. Furthermore, serum from vaccinated mice demonstrated potent neutralization against the XBB.1.5 pseudovirus as well as several other Omicron pseudoviruses. However, regardless of high antibody cross-reactivity by ELISA, the anti-XBB.1.5 RBD antigen serum showed low neutralizing titers against the WT and Delta virus variants. (4) Conclusions: Whereas we observed modest cross-neutralization against Omicron subvariants by sera from mice vaccinated with the WT RBD/CpG/Alum vaccine or with the BA.4/5-based vaccine, sera raised against the XBB.1.5 RBD showed robust cross-neutralization. These findings underscore the imminent opportunity for an updated vaccine formulation utilizing the XBB.1.5 RBD antigen.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0166.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19, seroconversion, neutralizing antibody, spike protein, SARS-CoV-2, convalescent plasma, vaccine
Online: 6 August 2020 (12:16:11 CEST)
The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions of people and caused tremendous morbidity and mortality worldwide. Effective treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 infection is lacking and different therapeutic strategies are under testing. Host humoral and cellular immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection is a critical determinant for patients’ outcome. SARS-CoV-2 infection results in seroconversion and production of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The antibodies may suppress viral replication through neutralization but also might also participate in COVID-19 pathogenesis through a process termed antibody-dependent enhancement. Rapid progress has been made in the research of antibody response and therapy in COVID-19 patients including characterization of the clinical features of antibody responses in different populations infected by SARS-CoV-2, treatment of COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma and intravenous immunoglobin products, isolation and characterization of a large panel of monoclonal neutralizing antibodies, as well as preliminary clinical results from several COVID-19 vaccine candidates. In this review, we summarize the recent progress and discuss the implications of these findings in vaccine development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0266.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Media Studies Keywords: misinformation; catholic media; COVID-19 vaccine; fake news; infodemic; health communication; vaccination; news media; digital media
Online: 4 May 2023 (12:57:51 CEST)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online media were the most widely used source of scientific information. Often, they are also the only ones on science-related topics. Research has shown that much of the information available on the Internet about the health crisis lacked scientific rigor and that misinformation about health issues can pose a threat to public health. In turn, millions of Catholics were found to be demonstrating against vaccination against COVID-19 based on "false" and misleading religious arguments. This research analyses publications about the vaccine in Catholic online media with the aim of understanding the presence of information (and misinformation) in this community. An algorithm designed for each media outlet collected COVID-19 vaccine-related publications from 109 Catholic media outlets in five languages. In total, 970 publications were analysed for journalistic genres, types of headlines and sources of information. The results show that most publications are informative and most of their headlines are neutral. However, opinion articles have mostly negative headlines. Also, a higher percentage of the opinion authors come from the religious sphere and most of the sources cited are religious. Finally, 35% of the publications relate the vaccine to the framing issue of abortion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0283.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Government Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy; Misinformation; Government Actions; Communication
Online: 21 March 2022 (10:29:33 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the adverse consequences created by an infodemic specifically on compliance with public health guidance and vaccine uptake. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a complex construct that is related to health beliefs, misinformation exposure, and perceptions of governmental institutions. This study draws on theoretical models and current data on the COVID-19 infodemic to explore the association between perceived risk of COVID-19, levels of misinformation endorsement, and opinions about the government response on vaccine uptake. We surveyed a sample of 2,697 respondents from the US, Canada, and Italy using a mobile platform between 21-28 May, 2021. Using multivariate regression, we found that country of residence, risk perception of contracting and spreading COVID-19, perception of government response and transparency, and misinformation endorsement was associated with the odds of vaccine hesitancy. Higher perceived risk was associated with lower odds of hesitancy, while lower perceptions of government response, and higher misinformation endorsement were associated with higher hesitancy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0155.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: covid-19; pandemic; immune evasion; first-line immunity; viral evolution; interferon; dendritic cells; cytokines; chemokines; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; vaccinology
Online: 21 February 2023 (02:38:38 CET)
The SARS–CoV-2 infection has caused both acute and chronic COVID–19 disease during the recent pandemic with emerging more transmissible SARS–CoV–2 Omicron variants (BQ1 and XBB1) that have increased demands for more effective immunogens and therapeutic approaches to protect the lives of numerous SARS–CoV-2 affected individuals and reduce overall disease burden that could be affected by concurrent other pathogens causing diseases. Following a worldwide campaign of mass vaccination, there is still a significant demand to quell the harmful effects of novel SARS–CoV–2 infections due to higher mutation rates within specific areas of the SARS–CoV-2 domain, leading to enhanced viral entry, especially within individuals with one or more significant comorbidities, and there is still a dilemma of how prevention of future pandemics will occur as within host animal mutations and cross species transfer naturally occurs. Concerns intersect at a specific point; a gained evolutionary ability of several viruses over the previous centuries to remain undetected during the first stages of infection by means of capping the 5' end of their DNA and RNA genes respectively. This may occur by reducing the rate of host Type I and Type III Interferons (IFN) cellular synthesis, that would usually occur and affect both apoptotic pathways, that facilitate viral replication and clearance, as well as immune cells, that process and present pathogenic antigen epitopes. Furthermore, although methods of vaccination exist, other methods in clinical development remain that could evoke an immune response in different cellular, serum or mucosal compartments being cellular, serum and mucosal that evoke differential antibody responses. Antibodies are classed as natural and synthetic. Natural antibodies are further classified into neutralizing and non-neutralizing, whilst synthetic antibodies are also further classified into monoclonal and polyclonal. As a result of single cell study transcriptome research, viruses do utilize an array of protein receptors for receptor-mediated cellular entry. This, therefore suggests that potential differential production of antibody immunoglobulins (Ig) within serum and mucosal areas remains affected by cytokines, adhesion molecules and chemokines that can be upregulated or downregulated upon host viral infection. Serum plasma antibodies can be multimeric that may not efficiently cross the nasal epithelium cell layer, therefore offering less protection against mucosal inflammation due to mucin proteins. On the other hand, antibodies produced by mucosal plasma cells at epithelial surfaces are known to provide effective immune responses in some viral infections. The existence of developments that stimulate mucosal immune responses has so far only been seen with influenza nasal immunogens. Nevertheless, scientists developed ways of immunization and early treatment worldwide that generally showed good success rates and fewer risks of adverse events, and the still early present stages of COVID-19 research should also be taken into consideration. For example, the administration of human interferons I and III into the nasal mucosa cellular layer, as key mediators of anti–viral activity, can stimulate cellular activity to train the innate and adaptive immune system cells to develop and appropriately stimulate an adequate immune response through B and T cells. Recently, it was discovered that specific plants secrete proteins that also stimulate the production of Type I Interferons. It might be that focusing on directly offering the immune system the information about the genetics and protein structure of the pathogen, rather than training its first-line mechanisms to develop faster, excessively increases its specificity, making it reach a level that brings the virus the opportunity to evolve and escape previously-developed host immune mechanisms. Naturally-selected polymorphic viruses through genetic recombination pose challenges to traditional concepts of cellular and molecular immune system neutralization of these viruses during the first stages of cellular infection. It is until the scientific community realizes this potentially crucial aspect that we will probably continue to face serious epidemics and pandemics of respiratory diseases over the coming several decades, evidenced with dengue fever and more recently monkeypox. Type I IFNs tend to be produced faster than Type III IFNs, and the first induce slightly more abundant pro-inflammatory signals than the latter, meaning that type III IFNs, if produced early, may further decrease the extent of excessive proinflammatory signals. Hence, we believe that nasal sprays containing a low dosage of Type I and Type III IFNs not only represent a relevant COVID-19 therapeutic, but also a potential unknown modulatory therapy of the future. Of note, it has been indicated that IFN I and / or III display significant immunizing and early therapeutic effects for other viral evoked diseases like Influenza (Influenza (A)H1N1), rabies (Rabies lyssavirus), measles (Measles virus), rubella (Rubivirus rubellae), Hepatitis B, HIV-induced AIDS, Ebola, Marburg, as well as bacterial diseases, such as lower respiratory tract infectious diseases induced by Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, and a number of oncological diseases, like hepatic melanoma.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0454.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine; Attenuation; Biothermodynamics; Gibbs energy; Permissiveness; Biosynthesis; Multiplication
Online: 23 December 2022 (08:15:06 CET)
Live attenuated vaccines have through history proved themselves as safe and efficient. Pasteur has developed a vaccine against rabies, through a long process of passage of the virus wild type through rabbits. The result was one of the most efficient attenuated live-virus vaccines. This paper suggests a method based on calculations of biothermodynamic properties of potential tissues for vaccine application, predilected host tissue and virus wild type. Gibbs energy of biosynthesis represents the thermodynamic driving force for virus multiplication. The attenuated strain of the virus should possess Gibbs energy of biosynthesis, which is less negative than the predilected target tissue, but more negative than the vaccine portal tissue. In that way, the attenuated virus strain should be able to multiply in the vaccine portal of entry tissue and cause an immune response, making it efficient. On the other hand, the attenuated strain cannot multiply in the predilected host tissue, making it safe. The attenuation is achieved by adding a gene to the virus, which encodes a ballast protein. Production of the ballast protein would make virus multiplication less favorable, since it would require energy, but be useless to the virus.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0250.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Nucleotide composition; mutational change; GC to AT; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine design
Online: 21 June 2020 (10:16:01 CEST)
The worldwide outbreak of a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 has caused a pandemic of respiratory disease. Due to this emergency, researchers around the globe have been investigating the evolution of the genome of SARS-CoV-2 in order to design vaccines. Here I examined the evolution of GC content of SARS-CoV-2 by comparing the genomes of the members of the group Betacoronavirus. The results of this investigation revealed a highly significant positive correlation between the GC contents of betacoronaviruses and their divergence from SARS-CoV-2. The betacoronaviruses that are distantly related to SARS-CoV-2 have much higher GC contents than the latter. Conversely, the closely related ones have low GC contents, which are only slightly higher than that of SARS-CoV-2. This suggests a systematic reduction in the GC content in the SARS-CoV-2 lineage over time. The declining trend in this lineage predicts a much-reduced GC content in the coronaviruses that will descend/evolve from SARS-CoV-2 in the future. Due to the three consecutive outbreaks (MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2) caused by the members of the SARS-CoV-2, the scientific community is emphasizing the need for universal vaccines that are effective across many strains including those, that will inevitably emerge in the near future. The reduction in GC contents implies an increase in the rate of GC→AT mutations than that the mutational changes in the reverse direction. Therefore, understanding the evolution of base composition and mutational patterns of SARS-CoV-2 could be useful in designing broad-spectrum vaccines that could identify and neutralize the present and future strains of this virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0002.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; vaccine hesitancy; healthcare workers; primary care; general practice; Singapore
Online: 1 March 2022 (03:49:13 CET)
Background: COVID-19 booster uptake remained poor among healthcare workers (HCW) despite evidence of improved immunity against Delta and Omicron variants. While most studies used a questionnaire to assess hesitancy, this study aimed to identify factors affecting true booster hesitancy by examining actual vaccine uptake across time. Method: COVID-19 vaccination database records among HCW working at 7 Singaporean public primary care clinics between January to December 2021 were extracted, with gender, profession, place of practice, vaccination type and dates. Time to booster was calculated from the date of vaccination minus date of eligibility. Chi-square test was used to compare relationship between 1st dose and booster hesitancy, Kaplan-Meier method and Log-rank test were adopted to evaluate differences in cumulative booster uptake. Multivariate cox regression was used to investigate predictors for timely booster vaccination. Vaccination rate was charted across time and corroborated with media releases pertaining to legislative changes. Results: 877 of 891 (98.9%) primary care HCW were fully vaccinated, 73.8% of eligible HCW had taken the booster. HCW were less booster hesitant [median 16 (5-31.3) days] compared to the 1st dose [median 39 (13-119.3) days]. 1st dose hesitant HCW were more likely to be booster hesitant (OR=3.66, 95%CI 2.61-5.14). Adjusting for sex, workplace and time to 1st dose, ancillary (HR=1.53, 95%CI 1.03-2.28), medical (HR=1.8, 95%CI 1.18-2.74) and nursing (HR=1.8, 95%CI 1.18-2.37) received boosters earlier compared with administrative staff. No temporal relationship was observed between booster uptake, legislative changes and COVID-19 infection numbers. Conclusion: Vaccine hesitancy among HCW had improved from booster to 1st dose, with timely booster vaccination among medical and nursing staff. Tailored education, risk messaging and strategic legislation might help to reduce delayed booster vaccination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2087.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Influenza; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Green-Pass; Vaccination; Immunization; Vaccine-hesitancy; Pandemic
Online: 29 June 2023 (10:23:58 CEST)
The purpose of this work was to longitudinally investigate the dynamic evolution of vaccine hesitancy towards both COVID-19 and influenza. We followed a cohort of 479 adult patients at Udine Hospital (Italy) having in common a medical history of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2020, during the first and most impactful pandemic wave. Vaccine attitude was assessed through standardized telephone interviews performed at 12 and 18 months after the acute illness. The background of the survey was represented by COVID-19 vaccination campaign, started with the approval of the first vaccine in December 2020 and bolstered by the introduction of Green Pass in July 2021, in a context where anti-vaccination beliefs and mistrust in healthcare system were rising. The first interview reported the success of the 2020/21 seasonal influenza immunization with 46.8% (224/479) of the participants showing a positive attitude, especially the elderly and people with comorbidities (p< 0.001). The investigation conducted at 18 months showed a drastic drop in flu shot acceptance (30/166, 18.1%), the reluctance being justified by the feeling of protection regardless of prevention (55.8%) and by concerns regarding vaccines safety and efficacy (23.3%). In parallel, a great increase in vaccinations against SARS-CoV2 occurred after the introduction of Green Pass (72.9% vs 26.7%), although only a minority of the participants identified in the restrictions induced by the certification the leading incentive to get immunized (22.3%). Vaccine hesitancy remains a dynamic and complex phenomenon, which is difficult to overcome with incentive or obligatory strategies alone. The purpose of achieving vaccine compliance should always take into account the social and political context, as well as the role of personal opinions and emotions.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2002.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: rotavirus; coronavirus; vaccine; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; cross immunity; trained immunity; vaccinated breakthrough infections; COVID variants; long-Covid
Online: 29 May 2023 (09:29:18 CEST)
This proposal was prepared in the very first weeks of 2020 because of the outbreak of COVID-19. There are good reasons to suppose that rotavirus vaccine can be used as protection tool to effectively and safely fight and mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection and the impact caused by COVID- 19 in adult humans, due to the development of cross and trained immunity following rotavirus vaccination. Up-to-date, some rotavirus vaccines are available and approved, two of them have a large experience in results and safety. Little experience has been achieved in the use of rotavirus vaccine in adults. However, it can be expected that it would be safe and effective in adults and in the elderly as well. This proposal explains the background of this hypothesis based on lungs and intestine relationships.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0009.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; artificial intelligence; omics; patient stratification; risk management
Online: 1 March 2023 (03:37:48 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to the healthcare system. Identifying the genomics and clinical biomarkers for effective patient stratification and management is critical to controlling the spread of the disease. Omics datasets provide a wealth of information that can aid in understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of COVID-19 and identifying potential biomarkers for patient stratification. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms have been increasingly used to analyze large-scale omics and clinical datasets for patient stratification. In this manuscript, we demonstrate the recent advances and predictive accuracies in AI and ML-based patient stratification modeling linking omics and clinical biomarker datasets, focusing on COVID-19 patients. Our ML model not only demonstrates that clinical features are enough an indicator of COVID-19 severity and survival but also infers what clinical features are more impactful, which makes our approach a useful guide for clinicians for prioritization of best-fit therapeutics for a given cohort of patients. Moreover, with weighted gene network analysis, we are able to provide insights into gene networks that have a significant association with COVID-19 severity and clinical features. Finally, we have demonstrated the importance of clinical biomarkers in identifying high-risk patients and predicting disease progression.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1835.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Internal Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccines; breakthrough infection; hybrid immunity; SARS-CoV-2 antibody
Online: 26 May 2023 (04:05:24 CEST)
More than 3 years have passed since the emergence of COVID-19. On May 8, 2023, COVID-19 in Japan was downgraded to Category 5 by the Infectious Disease Control Law. In Japan, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, cases of infection and deaths from severe disease were few compared with those of Western countries. However, in the medical field, screening for COVID-19 was given top priority, resulting in confusion and proving disadvantageous for many patients, also the overreaction to COVID-19 as the most important issue in society can be attributed largely to statements by infectious disease experts. In addition, the mRNA vaccine emerged in 2021, and most of the population was vaccinated up to two times within a short period of less than 1 year because infectious disease experts strongly promoted vaccination. After 2022, when vaccination progressed, and the Omicron strain, which is an attenuated strain, became the mainstay of the SARS-CoV-2, the number of severe cases of COVID-19 decreased significantly; however, the number of infected people increased dramatically instead. A significant portion of the population is thought to have hybrid immunity due to vaccination plus natural infection and maintains high antibody titers. Henceforth, additional vaccination should be given preferentially to those who will benefit most from it. Conversely, measures against COVID-19 caused serious damage to the economy and society. Policies that not only address countermeasures against infection, but also those that encompass the economy and society as a whole are necessary.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0024.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-nCoV-2; vaccine; antibody; immune escape; variant; spike protein; genomic drift; convalescent plasma
Online: 3 April 2020 (04:24:52 CEST)
New coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) treatments and vaccines are under development to combat the COVID-19 disease. Several approaches are being used by scientists for investigation including 1) various small molecule approaches targeting RNA polymerase, 3C-like protease, and RNA endonuclease and 2) exploration of antibodies obtained from convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The coronavirus genome is highly prone to mutations that lead to genetic drift and escape from immune recognition; thus, it is imperative that sub-strains with different mutations are also accounted for during vaccine development. As the disease has grown to become a pandemic, new B-cell and T-cell epitopes predicted from SARS coronavirus have been reported. Using the epitope information along with variants of the virus, we have found several variants which might cause drifts. Among such variants, 23403A>G variant (p.D614G) in spike protein B-cell epitope is observed frequently in European countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0788.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: adverse effects; anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody kinetics; BNT162b2 vaccine; breakthrough infections; COVID-19
Online: 13 September 2023 (02:44:35 CEST)
Background: Vaccination is one of the most effective life-saving medical interventions, and the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines was intended to prevent the serious implications of COVID-19. The objectives of the study were: i) to observe the humoral immune response to BNT162b2 vaccine and SARS-CoV-2 infection (mainly breakthrough infections), ii) to demonstrate the persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies over time in relation to the number of received vaccine doses and the course of infection, and iii) to determine adverse effects after primary vaccine doses. Methods: To assess the humoral response, IgG and IgA anti-S1 antibodies were quantified by ELISA assays. In total, the tests were carried out seven times in almost two years. Results: We demonstrated strong immunogenicity (compared to levels before primary vaccination, 150- and 20-fold increases in IgG and IgA, respectively) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Over time, we observed a systematic decline in antibody levels, which may have contributed to breakthrough infections. Although they caused seroconversion similar to the booster, antibody levels in such patients fell more rapidly than after re-vaccination. On the other hand, in individuals who did not receive booster(s) and who did not present breakthrough infection, anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies returned to pre-vaccination levels after 20 months. The most commonly recognized adverse effects were injection site redness and swelling. Conclusion: Vaccination is highly effective in preventing the most severe outcomes of COVID-19 and should be performed regardless of prior infection. Booster doses significantly enhance anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels and, in contrast to those obtained by breakthrough infection, they remain longer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0236.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; BBIBP-CorV; children 3-12 years old; the anti-spike; Anti-nucleocapsid; Neutralizing antibody
Online: 16 March 2022 (15:24:51 CET)
Background and Objectives: In the current Covid-19 pandemic, children below the age of 12 could manifest Covid-19 symptoms and serve as a reservoir for the virus in the community. The present study was conducted to evaluate the reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of BBIBP-CorV, prior to involving this age group in the vaccination program in the kingdom of Bahrain. Subjects and Methods: The study included 582 children from 3 to 12 years old of Bahraini and non-Bahraini nationality, all of which contributed to the reactogenicity study. Of those, 401 contributed to the immunogenicity study. All children received 2 doses of BBIBP-CorV inactivated virus 3 weeks apart. To assess reactogenicity, children were followed up for 5 weeks to evaluate any vaccine-related adverse events (AE). To assess immunogenicity, blood was collected on day 0 and day 35 to assess antibody titer against S, N, and neutralizing antibody. Results: Of the 582 participants, (45.4%) were female, (54.61%) were male, with 49% in 9-12 age group. Of the 401 children contributing to the immunogenicity study, 274 (68.3%) had no prior exposure to Covid-19. The overall incidence of AE was 27.7%. No significant difference was found among different age groups. The most frequent AE was local (at the injection site) and occurred in 16% of children, followed by fever in 9.3%. No serious adverse events were reported. The Seroconversion rate was 100% among children with no prior exposure to Covid-19. Children with previous Covid-19 exposure had higher averages of anti-S (2379 U/ml compared to 409.1), anti-N (177.6 U/ml compared to 30.9) and neutralizing antibody (93.7 U/ml compared to 77.1) than children with no prior exposure at day 35. Conclusions: Two doses of COVID-19 BBIBP-CorV on the subjects aged between 3 to 12 has good safety and tolerance and can induce an effective immune response and neutralizing antibody titer.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0141.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Endocrinology And Metabolism Keywords: Thyroid eye disease; Graves’ disease; viral vector SARS-CoV-2 vaccine; ChAdox1nCoV-19; COVID-19
Online: 5 September 2023 (03:32:09 CEST)
COVID-19, a contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, emerged in 2019 and quickly became a pandemic, infecting more than 700 million people worldwide. The disease incidence, morbidity and mortality rates have started to decline since the development of effective vaccines against the virus and the widespread immunization of the population. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are associated with minor local or systemic adverse reactions, while serious adverse effects are rare. Thyroid-related disorders have been reported after vaccination for COVID-19, and Graves’ disease (GD) is the second most common amongst them. Thyroid eye disease (TED), an extrathyroidal manifestation of GD is rarely observed post COVID-19 vaccination. All TED cases followed mRNA-based vaccinations, but two new onset mild TED cases post viral vector vaccine (ChAdox1nCoV-19) have also been reported. We report the case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with new onset hyperthyroidism and moderate-to-severe and active TED ten days after she received the first dose of a viral vector vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. This is the first case of moderate-to-severe TED after such a vaccine. Our patient was initially treated with intravenous glucocorticoids and subsequently with intravenous rituximab, due to no response. The disease was rendered inactive after rituximab, but constant diplopia persisted, and the patient was referred for rehabilitative surgery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0243.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Co-infections; COVID-19 fatality; molecular mimicry; pathogens
Online: 5 December 2023 (14:58:21 CET)
The SARS-CoV-2 have caused a devastating pandemic of all times in the recent human history. However, there is a serious paucity in high quality data on aggravating factors and mechanisms of co-infection. This study aimed to identify the trending patterns of bacterial co-infections and types and associated outcomes in three phases of the pandemic. Using quality hospital data, we have investigated the SARS-CoV-2 fatality rates, profiles, and types of bacterial co-infections before, during, and after COVID-19 vaccinations. Out of 389 isolates used in different aspects, 298 was examined before and during the pandemic (n=149 before, n=149 during), death rates were 32% during compared to only 7.4% before pandemic with significant association (P value = 0.000000075). Death rate was 34% in co-infected (n = 170) compared to non-co-infected patients (n = 128) indicating a highly significant value (P value = 0.00000000000088). However, analysis of patients without other respiratory problems (n=28) indicated that among the remaining 270 patients, death was 30% in co-infected patients (n=150) and only 0.8% in non-coinfected (n=120) with high significant P value= 0.00000000076. The trending patterns of co-infections before, during, and after vaccinations showed a significant decline in Staphylococcus aureus with concomitant peaks in Gram-negatives in totals of (n= 149 before/n= 149 during): Klebsiella pneumonia (n = 11/49 before/during; E. coli n=10/24, A. baumannii n=8/25, and Ps. Aeruginosa n= 5/16, and S. aureus 13/1. Nevertheless, in post vaccination phase, (n= 91) gender-specific co-infections were examined for potential differences in susceptibility. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) dominated both genders followed by E. coli in males and females with the latter gender showing higher rates of isolations in both species. Klebsiella pneumoniae declined to third place mostly in male patients. The drastic decline in K. pneumoniae and Gram-negatives post-vaccination strongly imply a potential co-protection in vaccines. Future analysis would gain more insights into molecular mimicry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0242.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; multiepitope vaccine; molecular modeling
Online: 15 March 2020 (12:45:54 CET)
The outbreak of 2019-novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes severe respiratory infection (COVID-19) has spread in China, and the world health organization declared it pandemic. However, no approved drug or vaccines are available, and treatment is mainly supportive and through a few repurposed drugs. In this urgency situation, development of SARS-CoV-2 based vaccines is immediately required. Immunoinformatic and molecular modelling are generally used time-efficient methods to accelerate the discovery and design of the candidate peptides for vaccine development. In recent years, the use of multiepitope vaccines is proved to be a promising immunization strategy against viruses and pathogens, which induce more comprehensive protective immunity. The current study demonstrated a comprehensive in-silico strategy to design stable multiepitope vaccine construct (MVC) from B-cell and T-cell epitopes of essential SARS-CoV-2 proteins with the help of adjuvants and linkers. The integrated molecular dynamics simulations analysis revealed the stability of MVC and its interaction with human Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which trigger an innate and adaptive immune response. Later, the in-silico cloning in a known pET28a vector system also estimated the possibility of MVC expression in E. Coli. Despite this study lacks validation of this vaccine construct in terms of its efficacy, the current integrated strategy encompasses the initial multiple epitope vaccine design concepts. After validation, this MVC can present to be a better prophylactic solution against COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0089.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Acceptance; COVID-19; Cross-sectional study; Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo; Vaccine hesitancy; Nigeria
Online: 3 May 2023 (02:51:50 CEST)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had devastating impacts on the global economy and public health. This study aimed to assess the level of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitancy, and associated factors among staff and students of the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria. A web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted between November 2021 and April 2022, and data were collected and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Of the 150 completed and analyzed questionnaires, the majority of respondents (80.0%) were between 16 and 45 years old. The study found that 58.4% of participants indicated vaccine hesitancy, with skepticism about the vaccine's fast production/rollout and fear of vaccine side effects being the most common reasons for hesitation. Respondents' age, religion, and category were significant factors influencing vaccine acceptance and hesitancy (P < 0.05). The university community has a high level of awareness of COVID-19 but low vaccine acceptance, resulting in high levels of vaccine hesitancy. The study recommends that policymakers and public health officials should prioritize testing and vaccination for job categories with higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. They should provide accurate information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination and implement workplace-based testing and vaccination programs. These interventions can help to increase COVID-19 testing and vaccination uptake among the university community and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0656.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; non-pharmaceutical interventions; vaccinations; vaccine doses; pre-existing condition; high risk; low risk
Online: 26 April 2021 (11:00:59 CEST)
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in the U.S. on December 29, 2019 and has spread rapidly throughout the country, affecting individuals with varying severity due to their risk status. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 45.4% of US adults are at higher risk for complications from coronavirus disease because of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, or cancer. In this study, we developed a mathematical model to assess the impact of a COVID-19 vaccine among low and high risk groups. Numerical simulations shows vaccinating both low and high risk groups simultaneously, rather than prioritizing the vaccine on high risk group only, further reduces the daily mortality. The result supports the need for an aggressive vaccination program, regardless of whether individuals are within the low or high risk population.
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: 2019 novel coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Deep Transfer Learning; Convolutional Neural Network; Machine Learning; GAN
Online: 7 April 2020 (10:59:04 CEST)
The coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic is putting healthcare systems across the world under unprecedented and increasing pressure according to the World Health Organization (WHO). With the advances in computer algorithms and especially Artificial Intelligence, the detection of this type of virus in the early stages will help in fast recovery and help in releasing the pressure off healthcare systems. In this paper, a GAN with deep transfer learning for coronavirus detection in chest x-ray images is presented. The lack of benchmark datasets for covid-19 especially in chest x-rays images is the main motivation of this research. The main idea is to collect all the possible images for covid-19 that exists until the writing of this research and use the GAN network to generate more images to help in the detection of the virus from the available x-rays images with the highest accuracy possible. The dataset used in this research was collected from different sources and it is available for researchers to download and use it. The number of images in the collected dataset is 307 images for four different types of classes. The classes are the covid-19, normal, pneumonia bacterial, and pneumonia virus. The dataset is divided into 90% for the GAN and the training and the validation phase, while 10% used in the testing phase. The GAN helps in generating more images from the original dataset to be 30 times larger than the originally collected dataset. The GAN also help in overcoming the overfitting problem and made the proposed model more robust. Three deep transfer models are selected in this research for investigation. The models are the Alexnet, Googlenet, and Restnet18. Those models are selected based on their small number of layers on their architectures, which will reflect in reducing the complexity of the models and the consumed memory and time. Using a combination of GAN and deep transfer models prove it is efficiency according to validation, testing accuracy, and performance measurements such as precision, recall, and F1 score. Three case scenarios are tested through the paper, the first scenario which includes 4 classes from the dataset, while the second scenario includes 3 classes and the third scenario includes 2 classes. All the scenarios include the covid-19 class as it is the main target of this research to be detected. In the first scenario, the Googlenet is selected to be the main deep transfer model as it achieves 80.6% in testing accuracy. In the second scenario, the Alexnet is selected to be the main deep transfer model as it achieves 85.2% in testing accuracy, while in the third scenario which includes 2 classes(covid-19, and normal), Googlenet is selected to be the main deep transfer model as it achieves 100% in testing accuracy and 99.9% in the validation accuracy. All the performance measurement strengthen the obtained results through the research. Finally, this research may be considered one of the first trails to use GAN and deep transfer models together to help in detecting coronaviruses (covid-19) within the absence of a benchmark dataset around the world, especially in x-rays chest images.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0398.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: rotavirus; coronavirus; vaccine; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; cross immunity; trained immunity; vaccinated breakthrough infections; COVID variants; long-Covid; post-viral syndrome; chronic fatigue; booster
Online: 23 August 2022 (10:50:57 CEST)
This proposal was prepared in the very first weeks of 2020 because of the outbreak of COVID-19.There is good reason to suppose that rotavirus vaccine can be used as protection tool to effectively and safely fight and mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection and the impact caused by COVID-19 in adult humans, due to the development of cross and trained immunity following rotavirus vaccination. Up-to-date, some rotavirus vaccines are available and approved, two of them have a large experience in results and safety. Little experience has been achieved in the use of rotavirus vaccine in adults. However, it can be expected that it would be safe and effective in adults and in the elderly as well. This proposal explains the background.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0082.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19, vaccine/vaccination; stress; anxiety; hesitancy; preparedness; Jordan/Arab
Online: 6 May 2022 (14:06:14 CEST)
Although vaccinating the world is adopted by the WHO to limit COVID-19 transmission, people’s worries about vaccines may suppress their desire for vaccination despite vaccine availability. This study aimed to evaluate the levels of stress and anxiety among 250 Jordanians who received their first vaccine dose at a local community health center. The respondents completed the stress and anxiety subscales of the Depression Anxiety and Stress scale 21 (DASS-21) pre- and post-vaccination. The respondents expressed more moderate-severe levels of stress pre than post vaccination (20.8% and 13.2%, respectively). Meanwhile, 37.2% and 45.2% of the respondents expressed moderate-severe anxiety pre and post vaccination, respectively. Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed that the drop in the level of stress from pre (median (IQR) = 5 (1-8)) to post vaccination (median (IQR) = 3 (1-7)) was statistically significant (z = -3.81, p = 0.001, r = 0.17) while the increase in anxiety was not. Anxiety median significantly dropped among individuals experiencing mild to severe anxiety pre vaccination. Similarly, stress and anxiety significantly increased among individuals expressing normal anxiety pre vaccination (z = -3.57 and -8.24, p values = 0.001, r = 0.16 and 0.37, respectively). Age positively correlated with post vaccination anxiety among respondents with mild pre vaccination anxiety, and it negatively correlated with pre vaccination level of stress in the normal anxiety group. Gender, marital status, respondents’ level of education, and history of COVID-19 infection had no significant correlation with anxiety or stress at either point of measurement. Overcoming their hesitancy to receive COVID-19 vaccine, individuals with normal levels of anxiety experienced a rise in their distress symptoms following immunization. On the contrary, vaccination seemed to desensitize anxious individuals. Policymakers need to formulate a population-specific plan to increase vaccine preparedness and promote psychological well-being over all during the pandemic.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: heterologous vaccine; receptor-binding domain; subunit vaccine; coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 4 March 2020 (05:19:16 CET)
A SARS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) recombinant protein was developed and manufactured under current good manufacturing practices in 2016. The protein known as RBD219-N1 when formulated on Alhydrogel®, induced high-level neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity with minimal immunopathology in mice after a homologous virus challenge with SARS-CoV (MA15 strain). In this report, we examined published evidence in support of whether the SARS-CoV RBD219-N1 could be repurposed as a heterologous vaccine against Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID)-19. Our findings include evidence that convalescent serum from SARS-CoV patients can neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a review of published studies using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against SARS-CoV RBD and that neutralize the SARS-CoV virus in vitro, finds that some of these mAbs bind to the receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the RBD, while others bind to domains outside this region within RBD. This information is relevant and supports the possibility of developing a heterologous SARS-CoV RBD vaccine against COVID-19, especially due to the finding that the overall high amino acid similarity (82%) between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike and RBD domains is not reflected in RBM region (59%). However, the high similarity (94%) in the region outside of RBM offers the potential of conserved neutralizing epitopes between both viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0312.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19); + ssRNA; ribosomal – framshift; Pseudoknot; replication; model; drug; vaccine
Online: 14 August 2020 (08:26:31 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, a new seventh human corona virus, has out-broken in Wuhan, China since 31st December 2019, and quickly escalated to take the form of pandemic which killed many human beings throughout almost all countries across continents. The rapidity of its transmission from human to human is far greater than all previous human corona viruses which came into existence like SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, etc. The nucleotide sequence of SARS-CoV-2 (isolates Wuhan-Hu-1) is 29,875 bp in ss-RNA. Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infected pneumonia include from asymptomatic to high fever and/or respiratory illnesses. Coronavirus virion (spherical/round /elliptical in shape) consists of three parts- outer membrane or envelope, nucleocapsid and genome (RNA). SARS-CoV-2 was shown to use receptor, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for attachment to the cells through its surface spike (S) protein (S1), and the virion enters into the host cell through two routes- direct membrane fusion and endocytotic pathway. The RNA of SARS-CoV acts directly as mRNA and here minus(-) 1 programmed ribosomal frameshift (-1PRF) is being operated by slippery sequence and pseudoknot, so it translates 16 nonstructural proteins including RNA dependent RNA replicase. Then genomic RNA replicated continuously on – strand RNA template and subgenomic RNA transcribed discontinuously on –RNA template to sgmRNA. Subgenomic RNAs/sgmRNAs synthesize all structural proteins. This article takes into consideration the details of established theories of viral structure, viral attachment, mode of entry into human cells, different models of replication and transcription of virus genome proposed by eminent scientists over the years, and makes an in depth examination highlighting meaningful points or important target cites of viral propagation or synthesis, which are conserved, for prompt development of potent drugs or vaccine to counter COVID-19 for which human race is anxiously and eagerly waiting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0791.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccines; Cross-Sectional Studies; Decision Making; Dental Education; Dental Students; International Association of Dental Students; Mass Vaccination; Multicenter Study; Social Determinants of Health
Online: 30 April 2021 (15:26:07 CEST)
Background: Acceleration of mass vaccination strategies is the only pathway to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare professionals and students have a key role in shaping public opinion about vaccines. This study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of dental students globally towards COVID-19 vaccines and explore the potential drivers for students' acceptance levels; Methods: A global cross-sectional study was carried out in February 2021 using an online ques-tionnaire. The study was liaised by the scientific committee of the International Association of Dental Students (IADS), and data was collected through the national and local coordinators of IADS member organizations. The dependent variable was the willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and the independent variables included demographic characteristics, COVID-19-related experi-ence, and the drivers of COVID-19 vaccine-related attitude suggested by the WHO-SAGE; Results: A total of 6639 students from 22 countries representing all world regions responded to the ques-tionnaire properly. Their mean age was 22.06 ± 2.79 (17-40) years, and the majority were females (70.5%), in clinical years (66.8%), and from upper-middle-income economies (45.7%). In general, 22.5% of dental students worldwide were hesitant, and 13.9% rejected COVID-19 vaccines. The students in low- and lower-middle-income (LLMI) economies had significantly higher levels of vaccine hesitancy compared to their peers in upper-middle- and high-income (UMHI) economies (30.4% vs 19.8%; p < 0.001); Conclusions: The global acceptance level of dental students for COVID-19 vaccines was suboptimal, and their worrisome level of vaccine hesitancy was influenced by the socioeconomic context where the dental students live and study. The media and social media, public figures, insufficient knowledge about vaccines, and mistrust of governments and the pharmaceutical industry were barriers to vaccination. The findings of this study call for further implementation of epidemiology (infectious diseases) education within undergraduate dental curricula.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0092.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Cell And Developmental Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; epitopes; B-cell; T-cell; immuno informatics; MHC-I; MHC-II
Online: 4 August 2020 (11:18:27 CEST)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new discovered strain where WHO officially declares the disease as COVID-19 while the virus responsible for it called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. The incubation period of this disease is between 14 days. Ordinary clinical symptoms that reported around the world include fever, cough, fatigue, diarrhoea and vomiting as well as asymptomatic for certain people. Infection is spread mainly through broad droplets. In early March 2020, WHO again has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic with currently no specific treatment. The potential use of SARS-COV-2 proteome as a vaccine candidate by analysing through B-cell and T-cell antigenicity by using a immunoinformatics approach as a vaccine development early stage. In this study, we used consensus sequence for SARS-COV-2 proteome that was retrieved from NCBI database. VaxiJen 2.0 was mainly used to identify the antigenic property of SARS-COV-2 proteins. IEDB then used to analyse the B-cell epitope, the presence of T cell immunogenic epitope in SARS-COV-2 proteins was obtained by using compromise method of MHC class I and II tools that accessible respectively using ProPred-1 server and MHC II Binding Prediction in IEDB database. The best epitopes of B and T-cell epitopes were predicted with high antigencity and the information is disseminated through web-based database resource (https://covid-19.omicstutorials.com/epitopes/). This study will be useful to find a new epitope-based candidate for SARS-COV-2. However, further study needs to be done for the next stages of vaccine development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0120.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: microneutralization; COVID-19; Omicron variant; wildtype; Live virus,; XBB.1.5; MN50; SARS CoV-2; variants of concern; BSL-3
Online: 4 December 2023 (03:43:14 CET)
As variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to emerge, assessment of vaccine immunogenicity remains a critical factor to support continued vaccination. To this end, an in vitro microneutralization (MN50) assay was validated to quantitate SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies against ancestral and variant strains (Beta, Delta, Omicron BA.1, Omicron BA.5 and XBB.1.5) in human serum. For ancestral strain, the MN50 assay met acceptance criteria for inter-/intra-assay precision, specificity, linearity, and selectivity. The assay was robust against changes to virus/serum incubation time, cell seeding density, virus content per well, cell passage number, and serum interference. Analyte in serum samples was stable up to 5 freeze/thaw cycles and for up to 12 months of storage at –80 ± 10 °C. Similar results were observed for the variant-adapted MN50 assays. The conversion factor to convert assay result units to WHO international standard units (IU/mL) was determined to be 0.62 for the ancestral prototype strain. This MN50 assay will be useful for vaccine immunogenicity analyses in clinical trial samples, enabling assessment of vaccine immunogenicity for ancestral and variant strains as variant-adapted vaccines are developed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0333.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Urban; rural; COVID-19; Knowledge; Attitudes; Practices; vaccine acceptability; Vaccine hesitancy; Kenya
Online: 18 August 2022 (07:46:00 CEST)
An important step towards COVID-19 pandemic control is adequate knowledge and adherence to mitigation measures, including vaccination. We assessed the level of COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices among residents from an urban informal settlement in the City of Nairobi (Kibera), and a rural community in western Kenya (Asembo). A cross-sectional survey was implemented from April to May 2021 among randomly selected adult residents from a population-based infectious diseases surveillance (PBIDS) cohort in Nairobi and Siaya Counties. Factors associated with the level of COVID-19 KAP, were assessed using multivariable regression methods. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was 83.6% for the participants from Asembo and 59.8% in Kibera. The reasons cited for vaccine hesitancy in Kibera were safety concerns (34.0%), insufficient information available to decide (18.0%), and a lack of belief in the vaccine (21.0%), while the reasons in Asembo were safety concerns (55.0%), insufficient information to decide (26.0%) and lack of belief in the vaccine (11%). Our study findings suggest the need for continued public education to enhance COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices to ensure adherence to mitigation measures. Urban informal settlements require targeted messaging to improve vaccine awareness, acceptability, and uptake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0031.v3
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Deep learning; Convolutional Neural Network; Coronavirus; COVID-19; radiology; CT scan; Medical image analysis; Automatic medical diagnosis; lung CT scan dataset
Online: 5 September 2020 (03:36:20 CEST)
COVID-19 is a severe global problem, and AI can play a significant role in preventing losses by monitoring and detecting infected persons in early-stage. This paper aims to propose a high-speed and accurate fully-automated method to detect COVID-19 from the patient's CT scan images. We introduce a new dataset that contains 48260 CT scan images from 282 normal persons and 15589 images from 95 patients with COVID-19 infections. At the first stage, this system runs our proposed image processing algorithm to discard those CT images that inside the lung is not properly visible in them. This action helps to reduce the processing time and false detections. At the next stage, we introduce a novel method for increasing the classification accuracy of convolutional networks. We implemented our method using the ResNet50V2 network and a modified feature pyramid network alongside our designed architecture for classifying the selected CT images into COVID-19 or normal with higher accuracy than other models. After running these two phases, the system determines the condition of the patient using a selected threshold. We are the first to evaluate our system in two different ways. In the single image classification stage, our model achieved 98.49% accuracy on more than 7996 test images. At the patient identification phase, the system correctly identified almost 234 of 245 patients with high speed. We also investigate the classified images with the Grad-CAM algorithm to indicate the area of infections in images and evaluate our model classification correctness.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0134.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Endocrinology And Metabolism Keywords: COVID-19; multi-dose BCG; beta cells regeneration; improved C-peptide; serendipity
Online: 9 April 2020 (05:03:24 CEST)
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the major risk factors for COVID-19 complications as it is one of the chronic immune-compromising conditions especially if patients have uncontrolled diabetes, poor HbA1c &/or irregular blood glucose levels. Diabetic patient’s mortality rates with COVID-19 are higher than cardiovascular or cancer patients. Recently Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) has shown successful results in reversing diabetes in both rats and clinical trials based on different mechanisms from aerobic glycolysis to Beta cells regeneration. BCG is a multi-face vaccine that has been used extensively in protection from TB and leprosy and has been repositioned for treatment of bladder cancer, diabetes & multiple sclerosis. Recently, the COVID-19 epidemiological study confirmed that universal BCG vaccination reduced morbidity and mortality in certain geographical areas. Countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, Nederland, USA) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies that have shown low numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Some countries have started clinical trials that included a single dose BCG vaccine as prophylaxis from COVID-19 or an attempt to minimize its side effects. This proposed research aims to use BCG vaccine as a double-edged weapon countering both COVID-19 & diabetes, not only as protection but also as therapeutic vaccination. The work includes a case study of regenerated pancreatic beta cells based on improved C-peptide & PCPRI laboratory findings after BCG vaccination for a 9 years’ patient. The patient was re-vaccinated based on a negative tuberculin test & no scar at the site of injection of the 1st BCG vaccination at birth. Furthermore, the authors in the present article described a prospective BCG multi-dose clinical study in full details that they will apply in case of acceptance of their submitted grant & the ethical committee approval. The aim of the clinical study is to check if double dose BCG (4 weeks apart) will show a significant difference in the protection of health care professionals in Egypt. The authors suggest and invite the scientific community to take into consideration the concept of direct BCG re-vaccination (after 4 weeks) because of the reported gene expressions & exaggerated innate immunity consequently. As the diabetic MODY-5 patient (mutation of HNF1B, Val2Leu) was on low dose Riomet® while eliminating insulin gradually, a simple analytical method for metformin assay was recommended to ensure its concentration before use as it is not approved yet by the Egyptian QC labs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1643.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine; vaccine efficacy; vaccine effectiveness, vaccine booster; BNT162b2; mRNA1273; Ad26.COV2.S; ChAdOx1-S; SARS-CoV-2 variants
Online: 28 November 2023 (01:41:16 CET)
We study here what can be learned from our experience with COVID-19 vaccination for an initially naïve population, that can inform planning for vaccination against the next novel, highly transmissible pathogen. We focus on the first two pandemic years (wild strain through Delta), because after the Omicron wave in early 2022, few people were still SARS-CoV-2-naïve. Almost all were vaccinated, infected, or often both. We review the evidence on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE), waning effectiveness over time, and what we should expect about VE and waning from a future pathogen. As a basis for our analysis, we conducted a PRISMA-compliant review of all studies on PubMed through August 15, 2022 reporting VE against four endpoints: any infection, symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and death, for the four principal vaccines used in developed Western countries (BNT162b2, mRNA1273, Ad26.CoV2.S, and ChAdOx1-S). The mRNA vaccines (BNT162b2, mRNA1273) had high initial VE against all endpoints but protection waned after approximately six months, with BNT162b2 declining faster than mRNA1273. Both mRNA vaccines initially outperformed the viral vector vaccines. A third “booster” dose, roughly six months after the primary doses, substantially reduced symptomatic infection, severe disease, and mortality, and in hindsight should be seen as part of the normal vaccination schedule.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0463.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; vaccine effectiveness; BNT162b2 vaccine; mRNA-1273 vaccine; ChAdOx1 vaccine; 19 Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S assay; reactogenicity; vaccine-associated symptoms
Online: 26 August 2022 (14:14:39 CEST)
This prospective study provides data on long-term humoral immunogenicity of a heterologous off-label vaccine regimen combining the adenoviral vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 from Astra-Zeneca (ChAd) with the mRNA-1273 vaccine from Moderna (m1273) in comparison to two different homologous mRNA vaccine schedules. Of the 316 COVID-19 naïve adult health care workers (HCW) included to complete a survey on vaccine-associated symptoms (VAS), 197 had received the homologous BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT/BNT), 76 the homologous m1273/m1273, and 43 the heterologous ChAd/m1273 vaccine regimen. Concentration of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in plasma 5-7 months after the second vaccine dose was higher in the m1273/m1273 and ChAd/m1273 than the BNT/BNT vaccine group. The frequency of systemic VAS after first vaccine dose was 86% after ChAd compared to 35% and 39% after BNT and m1273, respectively (p < 0.0001), and after second vaccine dose highest (89%) in the m1273/m1273 group (p < 0.001). Individuals with systemic VAS achieved higher levels of antibodies irrespective of vaccine regimen. In conclusion, VAS serve as a strong predictor of long-term humoral immune response, and the heterologous ChAd/m1273 vaccine regimen provides an at least equal long-term humoral immune response compared with the standard vaccine regimens used in Denmark.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0125.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: cell fusion; syncytia; cell hybrids; viruses; coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; fusogens; blood coagulation cascade; thrombosis, cancer; vaccines; neurological complications
Online: 9 September 2021 (10:54:14 CEST)
A distinctive feature of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is its ability to efficiently fuse cells, thus producing syncytia found in COVID-19 patients. This commentary proposes how this ability enables spike to cause COVID-19 complications as well as side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and suggests how these effects can be prevented..
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0153.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; angiotensin converting enzyme 2; Receptor; Live Attenuated Oral Vaccine; Intestine; proximal and distal enterocytes; herd immunity
Online: 9 April 2020 (13:10:50 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2/2019-nCoV) infection is an emerging pandemic. The virus binds to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and TMPRSS2 which are abundantly expressed on various human cells including lung epithelial cells and intestinal cells and the virus can infect these cells. Currently no specific treatments or vaccines are available for this disease. A per oral live attenuated vaccine can be beneficial in SARS-Cov-2 infection because the attenuated virus initially infects the gut, stimulates the mucosa associated immune system sparing the respiratory system during the initial immune response. The live virus can also spread in the community boosting herd immunity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1465.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Adolescent; children; 12-17 years COVID-19 vaccine; fully vaccinated; partially vaccinated; vaccination status; RT-PCR-positive; Pfizer; BNT162b2; vaccine effectiveness
Online: 22 August 2023 (03:02:19 CEST)
Qatar experienced five SARS-CoV-2 waves dominated sequentially by the original virus, Alpha, Beta, Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, and Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, in addition to a prolonged low-incidence phase dominated by the Delta variant. The two-dose primary series of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection has been approved for use in 10µg formulations among children and adolescents aged 12-17 years as of May 16, 2021. This study aimed at estimating the effectiveness of the 30µg BNT162b2 Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine against the pre-Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents aged 12-17 years residing in Qatar. A test-negative matched case-control study was conducted where any child or adolescent aged 12-17 years who had been tested for SARS-CoV-2, RT-PCR tests performed on nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, as part of contact tracing, between June and November 2021 and eligible to receive the BNT162b2 vaccine as per the national guidelines. Data regarding 14,161 children/adolescents meeting inclusion-exclusion criteria were retrieved from the national Surveillance and Vaccine Electronic System (SAVES). Of the total, 3.1% (444) were positive for SARSCoV-2. More than half (55.96%) were vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech-mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Amongst those immunized with two doses, 1.2% tested positive for SARS CoV2, while 5.6% amongst the unvaccinated tested positive. The vaccine effectiveness was calculated to be 79%. Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine provides protection from COVID-19 infection for children/adolescents, hence it is crucial to ensure they receive the recommended vaccines.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0195.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccines; capillary leak syndrome
Online: 11 January 2023 (09:41:36 CET)
Systemic capillary leak syndrome (SCLS) is an uncommon, potentially life-threatening disorder defined as recurrent attacks of pseudo-shock. This syndrome occurs due to the disruption of endothelial cells, which leads to increased vascular permeability, causing intravascular fluid to leak into the extravascular space and albumin to be retained in the interstitial space. SCLS can lead to hypovolemia, peripheral hypoperfusion, and acute renal insufficiency. The syndrome is presented with fever, generalized edema, pleural effusions, dyspnea, hypovolemia, hemoconcentration, prerenal azotemia, shock, and syncope. After ruling out other causes of hypovolemic shock, the diagnosis of SCLS can be considered on the presence of the classical triad of hypotension, hemoconcentration, and hypoalbuminemia. Eliminating the precipitating factors is the cornerstone of SCLS management. It is advisable to be very cautious and weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination of people with a history of this condition. This review will discuss and compare different aspects of SLCS after SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0097.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine; COVID-19 vaccination booster; COVID-19; Omicron; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 6 March 2023 (07:00:00 CET)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant of concern has been the dominant cause of worldwide COVID-19 cases since 2022. All the Omicron sublineage viruses have demonstrated high transmissibility and an ability to escape vaccine-induced immunity. While first-generation vaccines, including monovalent vaccines, continue to provide protection against severe disease, hospitalization and mortality, their efficacy against Omicron sub variants remains sparse. These vaccines have also been associated with rapidly waning protection against primary COVID-19 and COVID-19 reinfections conferred by evolving Omicron sublineages.. This led to the development and deployment of updated vaccines and the introduction of the bivalent booster. Through this review, we highlight the brief journey of the variants of concern leading to the dominance of Omicron and the effectiveness of the key vaccines against these variants, including the updated (bivalent) boosters.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0526.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Unreported COVID-19 Death; Provisional COVID-19 Death; Death Reporting Discrepancy; Bangladesh
Online: 22 July 2020 (11:32:05 CEST)
Objective: We aim to assess the reporting discrepancy and the difference between confirmed and unreported COVID-19-like death counts.Study Design: The study is based on time-series data.Methods: We used publicly available data to explore the differences between confirmed death counts and deaths with Codiv-19 symptoms between March 8, 2020, and July 11, 2020, in Bangladesh.Results: During the week ending May 9, 2020, the unreported COVID-19-like death count was higher than the confirmed COVID-19 death count; however, it was lower in the following weeks. On average, unreported COVID-19-like death counts were similar to the confirmed COVID-19 death counts during the same period. However, the reporting authority neither considers these deaths nor adjusts for potential seasonal influenza or other related deaths, which might produce incomplete COVID-19 data and respective mortality rates. Conclusions: Documenting unreported deaths with COVID-19 symptoms needs to be included in provisional death counts because it is essential to estimate a robust COVID-19 mortality rate and to offer data-driven pandemic response strategies. An urgent initiative is needed to prepare an acceptable guideline for COVID-19 death reporting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0227.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: COVID-19; depression; anxiety; post-acute COVID-19 syndrome; post-COVID
Online: 12 August 2022 (04:56:33 CEST)
Background: This study aimed to examine the course of Depression and anxiety in COVID-19 survivors with a psychiatric history compared with those without a psychiatric history. Methods: A web-based cross-sectional survey for COVID-19 survivors was conducted from July to September 2021. 6016 COVID-19 survivors, the accuracy of whose responses was determined to be assured, were included in analyses. Exposures included psychiatric history and time since COVID-19 infection, and the main outcomes and measures included severity of depression and anxiety, as assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), respectively. Results: Mean severity of PHQ-9 and GAD-7 were significantly higher in participants with a psychiatric history than in those without a psychiatric history. Two-way analysis of covariance for PHQ-9 showed a significant main effect of the presence of psychiatric history and a significant interaction effect of psychiatric history × time since infection. Two-way analysis of covariance for the GAD-7 score revealed a significant main effect of the presence of psychiatric history and time since COVID-19 infection and the interaction effect of these factors. Conclusions: The course of depression and anxiety was more severe in COVID-19 survivors with a psychiatric history than in those without a psychiatric history.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0240.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Locomotion; regulatory modes; resilience; COVID-19; Covid-19 anxiety.
Online: 4 July 2023 (13:48:34 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a significant impact on mental health globally. The uncertainty, fear, and stress associated with this crisis have contributed to a heightened prevalence of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health disorders. In this scenario, the present study aimed at investigating the relationship between locomotion regulatory mode, resilience, and COVID-19 anxiety. It is worth noting that previous extensive research has established a significant correlation between high levels of locomotion and diverse positive psychological conditions, such as optimism, reduced hopelessness, and positive affect. A total of 243 participants completed measures of locomotion regulatory mode, resilience, and COVID-19 anxiety. In line with our hypotheses, individuals' locomotion regulatory mode was negatively, although non significatively, associated with COVID-19 anxiety. Furthermore, resilience was found to mediate the relationship between locomotion regulatory mode and COVID-19 anxiety, indicating that individuals displaying high locomotion may be better equipped to cope with the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic due to their greater levels of resilience. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of considering both locomotion and resilience in managing anxiety related to COVID-19 and suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing resilience may be beneficial particularly for individuals with low locomotion regulatory mode.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0338.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; ACE2; severity; post-COVID-19 patients; comorbidity.
Online: 5 June 2023 (14:36:06 CEST)
ACE2 impact on the severity of COVID-19 is widely discussed but still controversial. To estimate its role in aspects of the main risk factors and comorbidities, we involved post-COVID-19 patients in Ternopil region (Ukraine). Recruitment period was July 2020 to December 2021. Medical records, treatment modalities and outcomes were recorded and analyzed. Serum human ACE2 protein was measured with Cusabio ELISA kits (Houston, TX, USA). Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS21.0 software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). The level of ACE2 serum protein was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in patients with mild symptoms compared to more severe course of disease, and inversely had changed from 1 to 90 days after recovery. In patients with mild COVID-19, ACE2 level significantly decreased over time, while among critical patients, it increased by 34.1percent. Such results could be explained by ACE2 shedding from tissues into circulation. Loss of the membrane-bound form of the enzyme decreases the virus entry into cells. Our studies did not identify any sex-related ACE2 serum levels correlation. The most common comorbidities were hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes mellitus. All comorbidities except respiratory diseases contribute to the severity of disease and correlate with ACE2 blood serum level.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0361.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; asymptomaticspread; early-stage COVID-19 mitigation
Online: 20 April 2020 (06:18:33 CEST)
Background: Early-stage interventions in a potential pandemic are important tounderstand as they can make the difference between runaway exponential growththat is hard to turn back and stopping the spread before it gets that far. COVID-19 is an interesting case study because there have been very different outcomesin different localities. These variations are best studied after the fact if precisionis the goal; while a pandemic is still unfolding less precise analysis is of value inattempting to guide localities in the early stages to learn lessons of those that pre-ceded them. Methods: I examine three factors that could differentiate strategy: asymptomaticspread, differences in use of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) tuberculosis vac-cine and cloth face masks.Results:Differences in disease progression as well as the possibility of alternativestrategies to prevent COVID-19 from entering the runaway phase or damping itdown later can be elucidated by a study of asymptomatic infection. A study todemonstrate not only what fraction are asymptomatic but how contagious they arewill also inform policy on universal mask wearing. Conclusions: While a COVID-19 outbreak is at a level that makes accurate trace-and test possible, investigation of asymptomatic transmission is viable and shouldbe attempted to enhance understanding of spread and variability in the disease aswell as policy options for slowing the spread.