With the emergence of new SARS-Cov2 variants, critical questions have arisen about: (1) the effectiveness of the available COVID-19 vaccines developed to protect against the original Wuhan (wild type) variant and (2) the magnitude and clinical consequences of post-vaccination infections in the context of the Delta variant of SARS-Cov2. While some “real world” experiences with various vaccines have been reported, to our knowledge, few have examined comparative outcomes of various vaccines in one country as new SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged. Here we present an analysis of COVID-19 related outcomes from a national database in Bahrain, a country with a total population of 1.51 million, where four vaccines were deployed (total vaccinated = 1,003,960 adults): AstraZeneca (AZ/Covishield), Pfizer/BioNtech, Sinopharm and Sputnik V. We compare the four vaccines, based on the following post-vaccination outcomes: SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths, compared to unvaccinated individuals. We conclude that the four vaccines used in Bahrain were effective in significantly reducing all four COVID-19 related outcomes compared to unvaccinated individuals, prior to, and during the period when the Delta variant predominated in the country. However, compared to the three other vaccines, individuals vaccinated with Sinopharm vaccine had a higher risk of post-vaccination infections, hospitalisations and ICU admissions (e.g., 6.94%, 2.24%, 1.99% and 1.52% of COVID-19 cases of Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer and Covishield recipients, respectively, required hospitalisation versus 13.66% of COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated individuals); however, given the confounding factors, this needs to be confirmed by further studies. We find no evidence of biased selection for any vaccine, but note waning protection of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine during the January to June 2021 period in the age > 60 y cohort; however, this cannot be distinguished from the overall fall in hospitalisations overall. Our findings support the value of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 related outcomes, provide real world estimates on the outcomes and frequencies of post-vaccination infections for the four vaccines, which may inform vaccine selection in the context of the Delta variant across the globe.
Authors: Manaf AlQahtani, Xing Du, Sujoy Bhattacharyya, Abdulla Alawadi, Hamad Al Mahmeed, Jaleela Al Sayed, Jessica Justman, Wafaa M El-Sadr, Jack Hidary, Siddhartha Mukherjee