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      Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Minority Populations in the US: Implications for Herd Immunity

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          Abstract

          There has been a continuous underrepresentation of minorities in healthcare research and vaccine trials, along with long-standing systemic racism and discrimination that have been fueling the distrust of the healthcare system among these communities for decades. The history and legacy of racial injustices and negative experiences within a culturally insensitive healthcare system have greatly contributed to vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minorities. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy will impact vaccine uptake in the US, subsequently hindering the establishment of herd immunity (75–85% of the population vaccinated) to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission. Information targeting underserved racial/ethnic minorities in the US in a culturally competent manner has been lacking. This information is crucial for educating these communities about COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution as well as dispelling misinformation regarding vaccine trials, safety, and efficacy. This lack of education has greatly contributed to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and will increase disparities in vaccine uptake. Moreover, timely vaccinations are also essential to curtailing virus transmission and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that may evade the immune response produced by the three existing COVID-19 vaccines.

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          Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

          Abstract Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently. Methods In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg per dose). BNT162b2 is a lipid nanoparticle–formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety. Results A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. Conclusions A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.)
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            Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

            Abstract Background Vaccines are needed to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and to protect persons who are at high risk for complications. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is a lipid nanoparticle–encapsulated mRNA-based vaccine that encodes the prefusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19. Methods This phase 3 randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 99 centers across the United States. Persons at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection or its complications were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two intramuscular injections of mRNA-1273 (100 μg) or placebo 28 days apart. The primary end point was prevention of Covid-19 illness with onset at least 14 days after the second injection in participants who had not previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Results The trial enrolled 30,420 volunteers who were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either vaccine or placebo (15,210 participants in each group). More than 96% of participants received both injections, and 2.2% had evidence (serologic, virologic, or both) of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline. Symptomatic Covid-19 illness was confirmed in 185 participants in the placebo group (56.5 per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 48.7 to 65.3) and in 11 participants in the mRNA-1273 group (3.3 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.7 to 6.0); vaccine efficacy was 94.1% (95% CI, 89.3 to 96.8%; P<0.001). Efficacy was similar across key secondary analyses, including assessment 14 days after the first dose, analyses that included participants who had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline, and analyses in participants 65 years of age or older. Severe Covid-19 occurred in 30 participants, with one fatality; all 30 were in the placebo group. Moderate, transient reactogenicity after vaccination occurred more frequently in the mRNA-1273 group. Serious adverse events were rare, and the incidence was similar in the two groups. Conclusions The mRNA-1273 vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing Covid-19 illness, including severe disease. Aside from transient local and systemic reactions, no safety concerns were identified. (Funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; COVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04470427.)
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              Vaccine hesitancy: Definition, scope and determinants.

              The SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy concluded that vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccination despite availability of vaccination services. Vaccine hesitancy is complex and context specific, varying across time, place and vaccines. It is influenced by factors such as complacency, convenience and confidence. The Working Group retained the term 'vaccine' rather than 'vaccination' hesitancy, although the latter more correctly implies the broader range of immunization concerns, as vaccine hesitancy is the more commonly used term. While high levels of hesitancy lead to low vaccine demand, low levels of hesitancy do not necessarily mean high vaccine demand. The Vaccine Hesitancy Determinants Matrix displays the factors influencing the behavioral decision to accept, delay or reject some or all vaccines under three categories: contextual, individual and group, and vaccine/vaccination-specific influences.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Vaccines (Basel)
                Vaccines (Basel)
                vaccines
                Vaccines
                MDPI
                2076-393X
                11 May 2021
                May 2021
                : 9
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208-3599, USA; jhildreth@ 123456mmc.edu
                [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208-3599, USA
                [3 ]Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Physiology, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: dalcendor@ 123456mmc.edu
                Article
                vaccines-09-00489
                10.3390/vaccines9050489
                8151325
                a6daeb4d-dacf-40f9-a670-0812930146bf
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                health disparities,coronavirus,vaccine hesitancy,sars-cov-2,covid-19,minorities populations,health inequities

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