Comparative effectiveness of heterologous third dose vaccine schedules against severe covid-19 during omicron predominance in Nordic countries: population based cohort analyses

Niklas Worm Andersson*, Emilia Myrup Thiesson, Ulrike Baum, Nicklas Pihlström, Jostein Starrfelt, Kristýna Faksová, Eero Poukka, Lars Christian Lund, Christian Holm Hansen, Mia Aakjær, Jesper Kjær, Catherine Cohet, Mathijs Goossens, Morten Andersen, Jesper Hallas, Hinta Meijerink, Rickard Ljung, Anders Hviid

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the comparative vaccine effectiveness of heterologous booster schedules (ie, three vaccine doses) compared with primary schedules (two vaccine doses) and with homologous mRNA vaccine booster schedules (three vaccine doses) during a period of omicron predominance.

DESIGN: Population based cohort analyses.

SETTING: Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, 27 December 2020 to 31 December 2022.

PARTICIPANTS: All adults aged ≥18 years who had received at least a primary vaccination schedule of AZD1222 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) or monovalent SARS-CoV-2 wild type (ancestral) strain based mRNA vaccines BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna), in any combination.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measure was country combined risks of covid-19 related hospital admission and death with covid-19 and additional outcomes of covid-19 related admission to an intensive care unit and SARS-CoV-2 infection. During a period of omicron predominance, these outcomes were compared in those who received a heterologous booster versus primary schedule (matched analyses) and versus those who received a homologous mRNA vaccine booster (weighted analyses). Follow-up was for 75 days from day 14 after the booster dose; comparative vaccine effectiveness was calculated as 1-risk ratio.

RESULTS: Across the four Nordic countries, 1 086 418 participants had received a heterologous booster schedule of AZD1222+BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 and 2 505 093 had received a heterologous booster schedule of BNT162b2+mRNA-1273. Compared with the primary schedule only (two doses), the vaccine effectiveness of heterologous booster schedules comprising AZD1222+BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2+mRNA-1273 was 82.7% (95% confidence interval 77.1% to 88.2%) and 81.5% (78.9% to 84.2%) for covid-19 related hospital admission and 95.9% (91.6% to 100.0%) and 87.5% (82.5% to 92.6%) for death with covid-19, respectively. Homologous mRNA booster schedules were similarly associated with increased protection against covid-19 related hospital admission (≥76.5%) and death with covid-19 (≥84.1%) compared with previous primary course vaccination only. When a heterologous booster schedule was compared with the homologous booster schedule, vaccine effectiveness was 27.2% (3.7% to 50.6%) for AZD1222+BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 and 23.3% (15.8% to 30.8%) for BNT162b2+mRNA-1273 schedules against covid-19 related hospital admission and 21.7% (-8.3% to 51.7%) and 18.4% (-15.7% to 52.5%) against death with covid-19, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Heterologous booster schedules are associated with increased protection against severe, omicron related covid-19 outcomes compared with primary course schedules and homologous booster schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere074325
JournalThe BMJ
Volume382
Number of pages15
ISSN0959-8146
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24. Jul 2023

Keywords

  • 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • COVID-19
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
  • Vaccines

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