Infectious Diseases

Real world SARS-COV-2 vaccine effectiveness in a Miami academic institution

a b s t r a c t

Background: To assess the effectiveness of Messenger RNA vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) in preventing emergency department (ED) presentations for acute respiratory ill- ness.

Basic procedures: We conducted a retrospective study assessing adult presentations (age >= 18) to the University of Miami Hospital’s ED from January 1st through August 25th, 2021, with a SARS-COV-2 PCR test and acute respi- ratory infection symptoms. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated using a test-negative design. Both univariable and multivariable (adjusted for age, gender, race, insurance status, imputed body mass index [BMI], vaccine type, week of presentation) regression analyses were conducted for the full cohort and subgroups.

Main findings: The cohort consisted of 13,203 ED presentations–3134 (23.7%) fully vaccinated and SARS-COV-2 negative, 108 (0.8%) fully vaccinated and SARS-COV-2 positive, 8817 (66.8%) unvaccinated and SARS-COV-2 neg- ative, and 1144 (8.7%) unvaccinated and SARS-COV-2 positive. Unadjusted vaccination effectiveness was 73.4% (95% confidence interval: 67.5%,78.3%) and, after adjustment, 73.8% (66.2%,79.7%). The Moderna vaccine’s effec- tiveness was numerically higher (unadjusted: 78.2% [68.8%, 84.7%]; adjusted: 78.0% [68.1%, 84.9%]) than the Pfizer vaccine’s (unadjusted: 70.8% [62.9%, 76.9%]; adjusted: 73.9% [66.3%,79.8%]). We found a significant differ- ence in adjusted vaccine effectiveness across categories was BMI (p < 0.001)–BMI <25: 66.3% (45.3%,79.2%); BMI 25-29: 71.3% (56.1%, 81.2%); BMI 30-34: 84.5% (71.7%, 91.5%); and BMI >=35: 72.7% (50.5%, 84.9%).

Principal conclusions: We demonstrated excellent real-world effectiveness of mRNA vaccines in preventing ED presentation for SARS-COV-2 in a diverse U.S. cohort. Notably, vaccine effectiveness improved with increasing BMI (until class 2 obesity).

(C) 2022

  1. Introduction

Two messenger RNA vaccines against severe acute respiratory syn- drome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) were released to the general popu- lation at the turn of 2020. These vaccines were shown to be 94.1 and 95% efficacious at preventing symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection [1,2]. While numerous trials have evaluated the effectiveness of severe SARS-COV-2 vaccinations in Healthcare workers [3-5] and inpatients [6,7], there remains a paucity of data in the general U.S. population pre- senting to the Emergency Department (ED). Moreover, focus has been

* Corresponding author at: University of Miami, 1951 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.

E-mail address: [email protected] (C. Mallow).

primarily on the prevention of severe disease; less is known about sig- nificant disease which may not require hospitalization. In this study, we assessed vaccine effectiveness in preventing ED presentations for acute respiratory illness.

  1. Methods

We conducted a retrospective study assessing adult presentations (age >= 18) to the University of Miami Hospital’s ED from January 1st through August 25th, 2021, with a SARS-COV-2 PCR test and acute re- spiratory infection symptoms, identified using ICD-10 codes. Institu- tional review board approval was obtained from the University of Miami (20200739). Presentations were classified into three groups:

(1) Fully vaccinated: 14 days after 2nd mRNA vaccine dose; (2) Partially

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2022.01.066

0735-6757/(C) 2022

Image of Fig. 1

Fig. 1. Forest Plots demonstrating Vaccine Effectiveness. Panel A displays the unadjusted vaccine effectiveness. Panel B shows the adjusted vaccine effectivenessa.

aTo assess the statistical significance of differences in vaccine effectiveness by each subgrouping, the full cohort model was rerun with an interaction term for vaccination status (fully vs unvaccinated) and subgroup of interest. P-values for Wald testing of the interaction terms are: gender–unadjusted 0.74, adjusted 0.34; age–unadjusted <0.001, adjusted 0.36; race–unadjusted <0.001, adjusted 0.48; ethnicity–unadjusted 0.55, adjusted 0.87; and payor–unadjusted <0.001, adjusted 0.09; body mass index–unadjusted <0.0001, adjusted

<0.001. Interaction terms were not considered for vaccine type as vaccine type is a subgroup of the exposure, vaccination status.

vaccinated: received at least one dose but not fully vaccinated; (3) Un- vaccinated. Single dose adenovirus vaccination was excluded from our analysis due to the low frequency of receipt in our population. Vaccina- tion status was obtained at the time of ED presentation through the electronic medical record (EMR) which is synced with the state registry, Florida Shots. Manual extraction of vaccination data from Florida Shots for 50 randomly selected presentations (25 fully vaccinated, 25 unvacci- nated in the EMR) was performed to assess EMR accuracy.

Vaccine effectiveness was calculated using a test-negative design, previously described [6,8] (Fig. 1). Primary analyses compared fully vac- cinated to unvaccinated presentations (partially vaccinated presenta- tions excluded); we performed a sensitivity analysis including presentations with partial vaccination as a separate exposure group. Both univariable and multivariable (adjusted for age, gender, race, in- surance status, imputed body mass index [BMI], vaccine type) regres- sion analyses were conducted for the full cohort and subgroups (with assessment of subgroup-related differences by inclusion of interaction terms in full cohort model). Because of the temporal variability in SARS-COV-2 case positivity and vaccination rates, we also adjusted for week of ED visit (as restricted cubic splines with 4 knots). All statistics were performed in STATA 16 (College Station, TX).

  1. Results

The cohort consisted of 13,203 ED presentations–3134 (23.7%) fully vaccinated and SARS-COV-2 negative, 108 (0.8%) fully vaccinated and SARS-COV-2 positive, 8817 (66.8%) unvaccinated and SARS-COV-2 neg- ative, and 1144 (8.7%) unvaccinated and SARS-COV-2 positive. Unvacci- nated patients tended to be younger and more commonly insured by Medicaid (Table 1). Random sampling manual review, via our state da- tabase, demonstrated perfect positive and negative predictive value (100%) of true vaccination status by EMR documentation.

Unadjusted full vaccination effectiveness was 73.4% (95% CI 67.5%,78.3%) and, after adjustment, 73.8% (66.2%,79.7%). The Moderna vaccine’s effectiveness was numerically higher (unadjusted: 78.2% [68.8%, 84.7%]; adjusted: 78.0% [68.1%, 84.9%]) than the Pfizer vaccine’s

(unadjusted: 70.8% [62.9%, 76.9%]; adjusted: 73.9% [66.3%,79.8%];

Fig. 2). While differences were noted in the unadjusted vaccine effec- tiveness by age, race, payor, and BMI (p < 0.001), the only subgrouping with a significant difference in adjusted vaccine effectiveness was BMI (p < 0.001)–BMI <25: 66.3% (45.3%,79.2%); BMI 25-29: 71.3% (56.1%,

81.2%); BMI 30-34: 84.5% (71.7%, 91.5%); and BMI >=35: 72.7% (50.5%,

84.9%).

Sensitivity analysis was performed with 14,173 presentations, 970 of which were partially vaccinated. The effectiveness of partial

vaccination was 36.3% (18.7%,50.2%) unadjusted and 19.6% (-4.7%,38.2%) adjusted; in this cohort, the adjusted effectiveness of full vaccination was 64.0% (55.1%, 71.2%).

  1. Discussion

In this study, we demonstrate excellent real-world effectiveness of mRNA vaccines in preventing ED presentation for SARS-COV-2 in a di- verse U.S. cohort. Notably, vaccine effectiveness improved with increas- ing BMI (until class 2 obesity), with the highest effectiveness among those with a BMI of 30-34. There was no statistically significant differ- ence in adjusted vaccine effectiveness among patients of different gen- ders, ages, races, ethnicities or payors.

To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate vaccine effective- ness in preventing, specifically, ED presentations. A recent publication demonstrated a higher mRNA vaccine effectiveness (91% vs our 73.8%) at preventing ED or urgent care visits [6]. Three major differences exist between this study and ours. First, Thompson et al. [6] included ur- gent care visits; however, this inclusion of a presumably less acutely ill population would be likely bias towards a reduced vaccine effective- ness. A second important difference was the time period of study, nota- bly our inclusion of presentations during the summer of 2021. During this time the delta variant became predominant in the U.S. [9], and vac- cines have been found to be less effective in preventing delta-related symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection [10]. Notably, we test and genotype all our ED presentations with acute upper respiratory symptoms, and the delta variant accounted for nearly 100% of the SARS-COV-2 infec- tions as of July 2021. Finally, the two cohorts studied differed substan- tially–ours was younger (58.8% vs 34% <65 years-old) and more racially/ethnically diverse (69.3% vs 82% White and 42.6% vs 84% non- Hispanic). While adjustments for these measured differences were made, it is unclear whether and to what extent coincident unmeasured differences may have contributed to our disparate results.

Our study is novel in focusing on ED presentations for SARS-CoV-2, a more expansive marker of significant disease than hospitalization alone, in a diverse U.S. cohort. There are, however, limitations. First, we only had 108 cases of vaccinated SARS-COV-2 and < 10 in some subgroups; even a single additional case would meaningfully impact our calcula- tions for these. Second, we did not verify all presentations’ vaccination status through registries. Our manual review suggests that vaccination misclassification is rare to non-existent, though. Third, our cohort in- cluded more vaccinations with Pfizer than Moderna; whether this disproportionality impacted our results is unknown. Last, as our study is retrospective in nature, the impact of residual confounding despite multivariable adjustment cannot be fully excluded.

Table 1

Cohort characteristics.

Characteristic

Overalla

Fully vaccinated &

Fully vaccinated &

Not vaccinated &

Not vaccinated &

COVID-

COVID+

COVID-

COVID+

# of ED Presentations, # (row %)

13,203 (100%)

3134 (23.7%)

108 (0.8%)

8817 (66.8%)

1144 (8.7%)

Vaccination typeb

mRNA, Moderna

1162 (8.8%)

1130 (36%0.1)

32 (29.6%)

n/a

n/a

mRNA, Pfizer

2080 (15.8%)

2004 (63.9%)

76 (70.4%)

n/a

n/a

Agec (years), median (IQR)

61 (47,73)

68 (57,77)

69 (51,78)

59 (44,70)

55 (40,68)

Male Sex

6406 (48.5%)

1652 (52.7%)

60 (55.6%)

4654 (52.8%)

613 (54.5%)

Race

White

9.147 (69.3%)

2525 (80.6%)

86 (79.6%)

5865 (66.5%)

671 (58.7%)

Black

3349 (25.4%)

450 (14.4%)

17 (15.7%)

2484 (28.2%)

398 (34.8%)

Other/Unknown

707 (5.4%)

159 (5.1%)

5 (4.6%)

468 (5.3%)

75 (6.6%)

Ethnicity

Non-Hispanic

5621 (42.6%)

1311 (41.8%)

40 (37.0%)

3795 (43.0%)

475 (41.5%)

Hispanic

7312 (55.4%)

1766 (56.3%)

66 (61.1%)

4831 (54.8%)

649 (56.7%)

Other/Unknown

270 (2%)

57 (1.8%)

2 (1.9%)

191 (2.2%)

20 (1.7%)

Elixhauser Comorbiditiesd

Congestive heart failure

2391 (18.1%)

604 (19.2%)

14 (13.0%)

1674 (19.0%)

99 (8.7%)

Valvular disease

2446 (18.5%)

729 (23.3%)

22 (20.4%)

1606 (18.2%)

89 (7.8%)

Peripheral vascular disorders

2397 (18.2%)

696 (22.2%)

14 (13.0%)

1608 (18.2%)

79 (6.9%)

Hypertension

8799 (66.6%)

2351 (75.0%)

70 (64.8%)

5779 (65.5%)

599 (52.4%)

neurologic disorders

3010 (22.8%)

776 (24.8%)

15 (13.9%)

2104 (23.9%)

115 (10.1%)

Chronic pulmonary disease

3520 (26.7%)

940 (30.0%)

20 (18.5%)

2351 (26.7%)

209 (18.3%)

Diabetes mellitus

Uncomplicated

3780 (28.6%)

975 (31.1%)

40 (37.0%)

2485 (28.2%)

280 (18.2%)

Complicated

3450 (26.1%)

882 (28.1%)

29 (26.9%)

2310 (26.2%)

229 (20.0%)

Hypothyroidism

1936 (14.7%)

587 (18.7%)

15 (13.9%)

1245 (14.1%)

89 (7.8%)

Renal Failure

2591 (19.6%)

692 (22.1%)

27 (25.0%)

1745 (19.8%)

127 (11.1%)

Liver failure

2179 (16.5%)

583 (18.6%)

9 (8.3%)

1488 (16.9%)

99 (8.7%)

Metastatic cancer

2380 (18.0%)

649 (20.7%)

7 (6.5%)

1672 (19.0%)

52 (4.5%)

Solid tumor (no metastases)

3558 (26.9%)

1017 (32.5%)

16 (14.8%)

2433 (27.6%)

92 (8.0%)

Coagulopathy

2361 (17.9%)

567 (18.1%)

12 (11.1%)

1671 (19.0%)

111 (9.7%)

Obesity

4465 (33.8%)

1131 (36.1%)

34 (31.5%)

2959 (33.6%)

341 (29.8%)

Weight loss

2657 (20.1%)

642 (20.5%)

12 (11.1%)

1926 (21.8%)

77 (6.7%)

Fluid & Electrolyte disorders

6401 (48.5%)

1480 (47.2%)

36 (33.3%)

4485 (50.9%)

400 (35.0%)

Deficiency anemia

5836 (44.2%)

1338 (42.7%)

32 (29.6%)

4175 (47.4%)

291 (25.4%)

Depression

2966 (22.5%)

753 (24.0%)

18 (16.7%)

2092 (23.7%)

103 (9.0%)

Body mass indexe

<25

4803 (36.4%)

1112 (35.5%)

27 (25.0%)

3406 (38.6%)

258 (22.6%)

25-30

4074 (31.9%)

1024 (32.7%)

37 (34.3%)

2676 (30.4%)

337 (29.5%)

30-35

2292 (17.4%)

567 (19.0%)

20 (18.5%)

1432 (16.2%)

273 (23.9%)

>35

1871 (14.2%)

419 (13.4%)

21 (19.4%)

1199 (13.6%)

232 (20.3%)

Insurance

Commercial

4597 (34.8%)

1036 (33.1%)

33 (30.6%)

3107 (35.2%)

421 (36.8%)

Medicaid

1880 (14.2%)

243 (7.8%)

5 (4.6%)

1482 (16.8%)

150 (13.1%)

Medicare

5594 (42.4%)

1761 (56.2%)

55 (50.9%)

3434 (38.9%)

344 (30.1%)

Other

1132 (8.6%)

94 (3.0%)

15 (13.9%)

794 (9.0%)

229 (20%)

Maximum SOFA score within 24 h of ED presentationf, median (IQR)

1 (0,2)

1 (0,2)

1 (0,3)

1 (0,2)

1 (0,2)

Outcomes

Admitted to hospital from ED

9894 (75%)

2569 (26.0%)

41 (38.0%)

6768 (76.8%)

516 (45.1%)

Final ED or hospital dispositiong Death

614 (4.7%)

120 (4.8%)

5 (4.6%)h

431 (4.9%)

58 (5.1%)

Facility

896 (6.8%)

225 (7.2%)

4 (3.7%)

601 (6.8%)

66 (5.8%)

Home

11,671 (88.4%)

2786 (88.9%)

99 (91.7%)

7771 (88.1%)

1015 (88.7%)

ED: emergency department; IQR: interquartile range; SOFA: sequential organ failure assessment.

a Inclusive of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated.

b No vaccinations with adenovirus-based vaccines were included in the cohort.

c 1 (0.008%) missing data on age.

d All other Elixhauser comorbidities were < 10% of the full cohort and included: pulmonary circulation disorders, 5.3%; paralysis, 5.7%; Peptic ulcer disease, 5.2%; AIDS, 2.0%; lymphoma, 6.0%; rheumatoid arthritis/collagen vascular disease, 5.9%; blood loss anemia, 6.3%; alcohol abuse, 4.6%; drug abuse, 6.0%; and psychoses, 6.3%.

e 163 (1.23%) missing data on body mass index.

f 259 (1.96%) missing data on SOFA score.

g 22 (0.17%) remained as hospital admissions at the time of data collection.

h All five vaccinated patients who died were in high risk categories: three were >= 85 years old; one was 65 years old with pulmonary fibrosis on mycophenolate; and, one was 74 years old with pulmonary fibrosis.

Image of Fig. 2

Fig. 2. Forest Plots demonstrating Vaccine Effectiveness. Panel A displays the unadjusted vaccine effectiveness. Panel B shows the adjusted vaccine effectiveness.

This study demonstrates excellent real-world effectiveness of SARS- COV-2 mRNA vaccines in preventing significant disease in a diverse U.S. population.

Presentations

None.

Author contributions

CM, TF, BS, PW, MS, DP and HG all contributed to the study design. CM contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data, drafting of the manuscript, and critical revision of the manuscript. HG contrib- uted to the analysis and interpretation of the data, and critical revision of the manuscript. PW contributed to data acquisition, analysis of the data and revision of the manuscript. TF, BS, MS, and DP contributed to the interpretation of the data and revision of the manuscript.

Disclosures

Mr. Warde and Dr.’s Shukla, Sosa, and Gershengorn received funding from University of Miami Hospital and Clinics data analytics research team.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Christopher Mallow: Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodol- ogy, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. Tanira Ferreira: Writing – review & editing, Methodology, Investigation, Conceptualization. Bhavarth Shukla: Writing – review & editing, Methodology, Investigation, Conceptualization. Prem Warde: Writing – review & editing, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization. Marie Anne Sosa: Writing – review & editing, Methodology, Investigation,

Conceptualization. Dipen J. Parekh: Writing – review & editing, Method- ology, Investigation, Conceptualization. Hayley B. Gershengorn: Writing – review & editing, Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Data curation, Conceptualization.

Declaration of Competing Interest

Dr’s Shukla, Sosa, and Gershengorn received funding from University of Miami Hospital and Clinics data analytics research team.

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