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Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine effectiveness among a population-based cohort of people living with HIV


Objective — People with HIV were underrepresented in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine clinical trials. We estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection for the BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and ChAdOx1 vaccines among a population-based cohort of people with HIV in Ontario, Canada.

Design — Test-negative design

Methods — We identified people with HIV aged ≥19 years who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR between December 14, 2020 (first availability of COVID-19 vaccines) and November 21, 2021 (pre-Omicron circulation). Outcomes included any infection, symptomatic infection, and COVID-19-related hospitalization/death. We compared the odds of vaccination between test-positive cases and test-negative controls using multivariable logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, region, calendar time, SARS-CoV-2 test histories, influenza vaccination, comorbidities, and neighborhood-level socio-economic status. VE was derived as (1 – adjusted odds ratio) × 100%.

Results — Among 21 023 adults living with HIV, there were 801 (8.3%) test-positive cases and 8,879 (91.7%) test-negative controls. 20.1% cases and 47.8% of controls received ≥1 COVID-19 vaccine dose; among two-dose recipients, 93.4% received ≥1 mRNA dose. Two-dose VE ≥7 days before specimen collection was 82% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 74–87%) against any infection, 94% (95% CI = 82–98%) against symptomatic infection, and 97% (95% CI = 85–100%) against hospitalization/death. Against any infection, VE declined from 86% (95% CI = 77–92%) within 7–59 days after the second dose to 66% (95% CI = −15–90%) after ≥180 days; we did not observe evidence of waning protection for other outcomes.

Conclusion — Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine offered substantial protection against symptomatic illness and hospitalization/death in people with HIV prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Our findings do not support a broad conclusion that COVID-19 VE is lower among people with HIV in populations that, for the most part, are attending HIV care, taking antiretroviral medication, and are virally suppressed.



Chambers C, Samji H, Cooper CL, Costiniuk CT, Janjua NZ, Kroch AE, Arbess G, Benoit AC, Buchan SA, Chung H, Kendall CE, Kwong JC, Langlois MA, Lee SM, Mbuagbaw L, Mccullagh J, Moineddin R, Nambiar D, Walmsley S, Anis A, Burchell AN. AIDS. 2022; Oct 18 [Epub ahead of print].

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