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Associations of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness with patient age and comorbidities

Vaccinations are considered the major tool to curb the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of the BNT162b2 vaccine has demonstrated a 95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 disease. These results are now corroborated with statistical analyses of real-world vaccination rollouts, but resolving vaccine effectiveness across demographic groups is challenging. Here, applying a multivariable logistic regression analysis approach to a large patient-level dataset, including SARS-CoV-2 tests, vaccine inoculations and personalized demographics, we model vaccine effectiveness at daily resolution and its interaction with sex, age and comorbidities. Vaccine effectiveness gradually increased post day 12 of inoculation, then plateaued, around 35 days, reaching 91.2% [CI 88.8%-93.1%] for all infections and 99.3% [CI 95.3%-99.9%] for symptomatic infections. Effectiveness was uniform for men and women yet declined mildly but significantly with age and for patients with specific chronic comorbidities, most notably type 2 diabetes. Quantifying real-world vaccine effectiveness, including both biological and behavioral effects, our analysis provides initial measurement of vaccine effectiveness across demographic groups.

Personal clinical history predicts antibiotic resistance of urinary tract infections

Antibiotic resistance is prevalent among the bacterial pathogens causing urinary tract infections. However, antimicrobial treatment is often prescribed ‘empirically’, in the absence of antibiotic susceptibility testing, risking mismatched and therefore ineffective treatment. Here, linking a 10-year longitudinal data set of over 700,000 community-acquired urinary tract infections with over 5,000,000 individually resolved records of antibiotic purchases, we identify strong associations of antibiotic resistance with the demographics, records of past urine cultures and history of drug purchases of the patients. When combined together, these associations allow for machine-learning-based personalized drug-specific predictions of antibiotic resistance, thereby enabling drug-prescribing algorithms that match an antibiotic treatment recommendation to the expected resistance of each sample. Applying these algorithms retrospectively, over a 1-year test period, we find that they greatly reduce the risk of mismatched treatment compared with the current standard of care. The clinical application of such algorithms may help improve the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatments.

Community-level evidence for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine protection of unvaccinated individuals

Mass vaccination has the potential to curb the current COVID19 pandemic by protecting individuals who have been vaccinated against the disease and possibly lowering the likelihood of transmission to individuals who have not been vaccinated. The high effectiveness of the widely administered BNT162b vaccine from Pfizer–BioNTech in preventing not only the disease but also infection with SARS-CoV-2 suggests a potential for a population-level effect, which is critical for disease eradication. However, this putative effect is difficult to observe, especially in light of highly fluctuating spatiotemporal epidemic dynamics. Here, by analyzing vaccination records and test results collected during the rapid vaccine rollout in a large population from 177 geographically defined communities, we find that the rates of vaccination in each community are associated with a substantial later decline in infections among a cohort of individuals aged under 16 years, who are unvaccinated. On average, for each 20 percentage points of individuals who are vaccinated in a given population, the positive test fraction for the unvaccinated population decreased approximately twofold. These results provide observational evidence that vaccination not only protects individuals who have been vaccinated but also provides cross-protection to unvaccinated individuals in the community.