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Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against hospitalization and death in Canada: a multiprovincial test-negative design study

Nasreen S, Febriani Y, García HAV, Zhang G, Tadrous M, Buchan SA, Righolt CH, Mahmud SM, Janjua NZ, Krajden M, De Serres G, Kwong JC; Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) Provincial Collaborative Network (PCN) Investigators. Clin Infect Dis. 2022; Aug 17 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Background — A major goal of COVID-19 vaccination is to prevent severe outcomes (hospitalizations and deaths). We estimated the effectiveness of mRNA and ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccines against severe outcomes in four Canadian provinces between December 2020 and September 2021.

Methods — We conducted this multiprovincial retrospective test-negative study among community-dwelling adults aged ≥18 years in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Manitoba using linked provincial databases and a common study protocol. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate province-specific vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization and/or death. Estimates were pooled using random effects models.

Results — We included 2,508,296 tested subjects, with 31,776 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 5,842 deaths. Vaccine effectiveness was 83% after a first dose, and 98% after a second dose, against both hospitalization and death (separately). Against severe outcomes (hospitalization or death), effectiveness was 87% (95%CI: 71%–94%) ≥84 days after a first dose of mRNA vaccine, increasing to 98% (95%CI: 96%–99%) ≥112 days after a second dose. Vaccine effectiveness against severe outcomes for ChAdOx1 was 88% (95%CI: 75%–94%) ≥56 days after a first dose, increasing to 97% (95%CI: 91%–99%) ≥56 days after a second dose. Lower one-dose effectiveness was observed for adults aged ≥80 years and those with comorbidities, but effectiveness became comparable after a second dose. Two doses of vaccines provided very high protection for both homologous and heterologous schedules, and against Alpha, Gamma, and Delta variants.

Conclusions — Two doses of mRNA or ChAdOx1 vaccines provide excellent protection against severe outcomes of hospitalization and death.

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