Objective: To evaluate the incidence of primary and recurrent COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers (HCWs) routinely screened for SARS-CoV-2 by nasopharyngeal swabs during the Omicron wave. Design: Dynamic Cohort study of HCWs (N = 7723) of the University Health Agency Giuliano Isontina (ASUGI), covering health services of the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia (Northeast Italy). Cox proportional hazard model was employed to estimate the risk of primary as well as recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection from 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022, adjusting for a number of confounding factors. Results: By 1 December 2021, 46.8% HCWs of ASUGI had received the booster, 37.2% were immunized only with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 6.0% only with one dose and 10.0% were unvaccinated. During 1 March 2020-31 May 2022, 3571 primary against 406 SARS-CoV-2 recurrent infections were counted among HCWs of ASUGI, 59.7% (=2130/3571) versus 95.1% (=386/406) of which occurring from 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022, respectively. All HCWs infected by SARS-CoV-2 during 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022 presented mild flu-like disease. Compared to staff working in administrative services, the risk of primary as well as recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection increased in HCWs with patient-facing clinical tasks (especially nurses and other categories of HCWs) and in all clinical wards but COVID-19 units and community health services. Regardless of the number of swab tests performed during the study period, primary infections were less likely in HCWs immunized with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. By contrast, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 re-infection was significantly lower in HCWs immunized with three doses (aHR = 0.58; 95%CI: 0.41; 0.80). During the study period, vaccine effectiveness (VE = 1-aHR) of the booster dose declined to 42% against re-infections, vanishing against primary SARS-CoV-2 infections. Conclusions: Though generally mild, SARS-CoV-2 infections and re-infections surged during the Omicron transmission period. Compared to unvaccinated colleagues, the risk of primary SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly lower in HCWs immunized just with one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. By Italian law, HCWs immunized only with one dose were either suspended or re-assigned to job tasks not entailing patient facing contact; hence, while sharing the same biological risk of unvaccinated colleagues, they arguably had a higher level of protection against COVID-19 infection. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 re-infections were less likely in HCWs vaccinated with three doses, suggesting that hybrid humoral immunity by vaccination combined with natural infection provided a higher level of protection than vaccination only. In this stage of the pandemic, where SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious yet much less pathogenic, health protection measures in healthcare premises at higher biological risk seem the rational approach to control the transmission of the virus.

Primary SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Re-infections and Vaccine Effectiveness during the Omicron Transmission Period in Healthcare Workers of Trieste and Gorizia (Northeast Italy), 1 December 2021-31 May 2022

Cegolon, Luca
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Negro, Corrado
Data Curation
;
Larese Filon, Francesca;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the incidence of primary and recurrent COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers (HCWs) routinely screened for SARS-CoV-2 by nasopharyngeal swabs during the Omicron wave. Design: Dynamic Cohort study of HCWs (N = 7723) of the University Health Agency Giuliano Isontina (ASUGI), covering health services of the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia (Northeast Italy). Cox proportional hazard model was employed to estimate the risk of primary as well as recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection from 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022, adjusting for a number of confounding factors. Results: By 1 December 2021, 46.8% HCWs of ASUGI had received the booster, 37.2% were immunized only with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 6.0% only with one dose and 10.0% were unvaccinated. During 1 March 2020-31 May 2022, 3571 primary against 406 SARS-CoV-2 recurrent infections were counted among HCWs of ASUGI, 59.7% (=2130/3571) versus 95.1% (=386/406) of which occurring from 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022, respectively. All HCWs infected by SARS-CoV-2 during 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022 presented mild flu-like disease. Compared to staff working in administrative services, the risk of primary as well as recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection increased in HCWs with patient-facing clinical tasks (especially nurses and other categories of HCWs) and in all clinical wards but COVID-19 units and community health services. Regardless of the number of swab tests performed during the study period, primary infections were less likely in HCWs immunized with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. By contrast, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 re-infection was significantly lower in HCWs immunized with three doses (aHR = 0.58; 95%CI: 0.41; 0.80). During the study period, vaccine effectiveness (VE = 1-aHR) of the booster dose declined to 42% against re-infections, vanishing against primary SARS-CoV-2 infections. Conclusions: Though generally mild, SARS-CoV-2 infections and re-infections surged during the Omicron transmission period. Compared to unvaccinated colleagues, the risk of primary SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly lower in HCWs immunized just with one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. By Italian law, HCWs immunized only with one dose were either suspended or re-assigned to job tasks not entailing patient facing contact; hence, while sharing the same biological risk of unvaccinated colleagues, they arguably had a higher level of protection against COVID-19 infection. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 re-infections were less likely in HCWs vaccinated with three doses, suggesting that hybrid humoral immunity by vaccination combined with natural infection provided a higher level of protection than vaccination only. In this stage of the pandemic, where SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious yet much less pathogenic, health protection measures in healthcare premises at higher biological risk seem the rational approach to control the transmission of the virus.
Pubblicato
https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/14/12/2688
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9784665/
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3037882
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