Association of mRNA Vaccination with Clinical and Virologic Features of COVID-19 among US Essential and Frontline Workers

Mark G. Thompson, Sarang K. Yoon, Allison L. Naleway, Jennifer Meece, Thomas P. Fabrizio, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, Jefferey L. Burgess, Manjusha Gaglani, Lauren E.W. Olsho, Allen Bateman, Jessica Lundgren, Lauren Grant, Andrew L. Phillips, Holly C. Groom, Elisha Stefanski, Natasha Schaefer Solle, Katherine Ellingson, Karen Lutrick, Kayan Dunnigan, Meredith G. WesleyKyley Guenther, Angela Hunt, Josephine Mak, Kurt T. Hegmann, Jennifer L. Kuntz, Adam Bissonnette, James Hollister, Spencer Rose, Tyler C. Morrill, Karley Respet, Ashley L. Fowlkes, Matthew S. Thiese, Patrick Rivers, Meghan K. Herring, Marilyn J. Odean, Young M. Yoo, Matthew Brunner, Edward J. Bedrick, Deanna E. Fleary, John T. Jones, Jenna Praggastis, James Romine, Monica Dickerson, Sana M. Khan, Julie Mayo Lamberte, Shawn Beitel, Richard J. Webby, Harmony L. Tyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Data on the epidemiology of mild to moderately severe COVID-19 are needed to inform public health guidance. Objective: To evaluate associations between 2 or 3 doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and attenuation of symptoms and viral RNA load across SARS-CoV-2 viral lineages. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort study of essential and frontline workers in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, and Utah with COVID-19 infection confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing and lineage classified by whole genome sequencing of specimens self-collected weekly and at COVID-19 illness symptom onset. This analysis was conducted among 1199 participants with SARS-CoV-2 from December 14, 2020, to April 19, 2022, with follow-up until May 9, 2022, reported. Exposures: SARS-CoV-2 lineage (origin strain, Delta variant, Omicron variant) and COVID-19 vaccination status. Main Outcomes and Measures: Clinical outcomes included presence of symptoms, specific symptoms (including fever or chills), illness duration, and medical care seeking. Virologic outcomes included viral load by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing along with viral viability. Results: Among 1199 participants with COVID-19 infection (714 [59.5%] women; median age, 41 years), 14.0% were infected with the origin strain, 24.0% with the Delta variant, and 62.0% with the Omicron variant. Participants vaccinated with the second vaccine dose 14 to 149 days before Delta infection were significantly less likely to be symptomatic compared with unvaccinated participants (21/27 [77.8%] vs 74/77 [96.1%]; OR, 0.13 [95% CI, 0-0.6]) and, when symptomatic, those vaccinated with the third dose 7 to 149 days before infection were significantly less likely to report fever or chills (5/13 [38.5%] vs 62/73 [84.9%]; OR, 0.07 [95% CI, 0.0-0.3]) and reported significantly fewer days of symptoms (10.2 vs 16.4; difference, -6.1 [95% CI, -11.8 to -0.4] days). Among those with Omicron infection, the risk of symptomatic infection did not differ significantly for the 2-dose vaccination status vs unvaccinated status and was significantly higher for the 3-dose recipients vs those who were unvaccinated (327/370 [88.4%] vs 85/107 [79.4%]; OR, 2.0 [95% CI, 1.1-3.5]). Among symptomatic Omicron infections, those vaccinated with the third dose 7 to 149 days before infection compared with those who were unvaccinated were significantly less likely to report fever or chills (160/311 [51.5%] vs 64/81 [79.0%]; OR, 0.25 [95% CI, 0.1-0.5]) or seek medical care (45/308 [14.6%] vs 20/81 [24.7%]; OR, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.2-0.9]). Participants with Delta and Omicron infections who received the second dose 14 to 149 days before infection had a significantly lower mean viral load compared with unvaccinated participants (3 vs 4.1 log10copies/μL; difference, -1.0 [95% CI, -1.7 to -0.2] for Delta and 2.8 vs 3.5 log10copies/μL, difference, -1.0 [95% CI, -1.7 to -0.3] for Omicron). Conclusions and Relevance: In a cohort of US essential and frontline workers with SARS-CoV-2 infections, recent vaccination with 2 or 3 mRNA vaccine doses less than 150 days before infection with Delta or Omicron variants, compared with being unvaccinated, was associated with attenuated symptoms, duration of illness, medical care seeking, or viral load for some comparisons, although the precision and statistical significance of specific estimates varied..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1533
Number of pages11
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume328
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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