BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections (BI) after vaccine booster dose are a relevant public health issue.MethodsMulticentric longitudinal cohort study within the ORCHESTRA project, involving 63,516 health workers (HW) from 14 European settings. The study investigated the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 BI after booster dose and its correlation with age, sex, job title, previous infection, and time since third dose.Results13,093 (20.6%) BI were observed. The cumulative incidence of BI was higher in women and in HW aged < 50 years, but nearly halved after 60 years. Nurses experienced the highest BI incidence, and administrative staff experienced the lowest. The BI incidence was higher in immunosuppressed HW (28.6%) vs others (24.9%). When controlling for gender, age, job title and infection before booster, heterologous vaccination reduced BI incidence with respect to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine [Odds Ratio (OR) 0.69, 95% CI 0.63-0.76]. Previous infection protected against asymptomatic infection [Relative Risk Ratio (RRR) of recent infection vs no infection 0.53, 95% CI 0.23-1.20] and even more against symptomatic infections [RRR 0.11, 95% CI 0.05-0.25]. Symptomatic infections increased from 70.5% in HW receiving the booster dose since < 64 days to 86.2% when time elapsed was > 130 days.ConclusionsThe risk of BI after booster is significantly reduced by previous infection, heterologous vaccination, and older ages. Immunosuppression is relevant for increased BI incidence. Time elapsed from booster affects BI severity, confirming the public health usefulness of booster. Further research should focus on BI trend after 4th dose and its relationship with time variables across the epidemics.
dell'Omo, Marco;Murgia, Nicola
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