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Jagadeesh Kumar V, Divya Tej Sowpati, Apoorva Munigela, Sofia Banu, Archana Bharadwaj Siva, Mitnala Sasikala, Chandrasekhar Nutalapati, Anand Kulkarni, Payel Mukherjee, Lamuk Zaveri, CCMB COVID-19 Team, AIG Hospitals COVID-19 Vaccine study Team, Karthik Bharadwaj Tallapaka, Nageshwar Reddy D


Emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 with increased transmissibility or immune escape have been causing large outbreaks of COVID-19 infections across the world. As most of the vaccines currently in use have been derived from viral strains circulating in the early part of the pandemic, it becomes imperative to constantly assess the efficacy of these vaccines against emerging variants. In this hospital-based cohort study, we analysed clinical profiles and outcomes of 1161 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (vaccinated with COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1) or COVAXIN (BBV-152), n = 495 and unvaccinated n = 666) in Hyderabad, India between April 24th and May 31st 2021. Viral genome sequencing revealed that >90% of patients in both groups were harbouring the Delta variant (Pango lineage B.1.617.2) of SARS-CoV-2. Vaccinated individuals showed higher neutralizing antibodies (545+-1256 AU/ml Vs 51.1+-296 AU/ml; p<0.001) and significantly decreased Ferritin (392.26+-448.4 ng/mL Vs 544.82+-641.41 ng/mL; p<0.001) and LDH (559.45+-324.05 U/L Vs 644.99+- 294.03 U/L; p<0.001), when compared to the unvaccinated group. Severity of the disease (3.2% Vs 7.2%; p=0.0039) and requirement of ventilatory support (2.8% Vs 5.9%; p=0.0154) were significantly low in the vaccinated group despite the fact that these individuals had significantly higher age and risk factors. The rate of mortality was about 50% lower (2/132=1.51%) in the completely vaccinated breakthrough infections although mortality in individuals who had received a single dose was similar to the unvaccinated group (9/269=3.35% vs 23/666= 3.45%). Our results demonstrate that both COVISHIELD and COVAXIN are effective in preventing disease severity and mortality against the Delta variant in completely vaccinated hospitalized patients.

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