Risk of COVID-19 death in adults who received booster COVID-19 vaccinations in England

Ward, Isobel L. and Robertson, Chris and Agrawal, Utkarsh and Patterson, Lynsey and Bradley, Declan T. and Shi, Ting and de Lusignan, Simon and Hobbs, F. D. Richard and Sheikh, Aziz and Nafilyan, Vahé (2024) Risk of COVID-19 death in adults who received booster COVID-19 vaccinations in England. Nature Communications, 15 (1). 398. ISSN 2041-1723 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-44276-x)

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The emergence of the COVID-19 vaccination has been critical in changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure protection remains high in vulnerable groups booster vaccinations in the UK have been targeted based on age and clinical vulnerabilities. We undertook a national retrospective cohort study using data from the 2021 Census linked to electronic health records. We fitted cause-specific Cox models to examine the association between health conditions and the risk of COVID-19 death and all-other-cause death for adults aged 50-100-years in England vaccinated with a booster in autumn 2022. Here we show, having learning disabilities or Down Syndrome (hazard ratio=5.07;95% confidence interval=3.69-6.98), pulmonary hypertension or fibrosis (2.88;2.43-3.40), motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia or Huntington's disease (2.94, 1.82-4.74), cancer of blood and bone marrow (3.11;2.72-3.56), Parkinson's disease (2.74;2.34-3.20), lung or oral cancer (2.57;2.04 to 3.24), dementia (2.64;2.46 to 2.83) or liver cirrhosis (2.65;1.95 to 3.59) was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 death. Individuals with cancer of the blood or bone marrow, chronic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypotension or fibrosis, or rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus had a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 death relative to other causes of death compared with individuals who did not have diagnoses. Policy makers should continue to priorities vulnerable groups for subsequent COVID-19 booster doses to minimise the risk of COVID-19 death.