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Background: COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be highly effective against hospitalisation and death following COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness estimates against severe endpoints among individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of critical disease are limited. Methods: We used English primary care medical record data from the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre sentinel network (N > 18 million). Data were linked to the National Immunisation Management Service database, Second Generation Surveillance System for virology test data, Hospital Episode Statistics, and death registry data. We estimated adjusted vaccine effectiveness (aVE) against COVID-19 infection followed by hospitalisation and death among individuals in specific clinical risk groups using a cohort design during the delta-dominant period. We also report mortality statistics and results from our antibody surveillance in this population. Findings: aVE against severe endpoints was high, 14–69d following a third dose aVE was 96.4% (95.1%–97.4%) and 97.9% (97.2%–98.4%) for clinically vulnerable people given a Vaxzevria and Comirnaty primary course respectively. Lower aVE was observed in the immunosuppressed group: 88.6% (79.1%–93.8%) and 91.9% (85.9%–95.4%) for Vaxzevria and Comirnaty respectively. Antibody levels were significantly lower among the immunosuppressed group than those not in this risk group across all vaccination types and doses. The standardised case fatality rate within 28 days of a positive test was 3.9/1000 in people not in risk groups, compared to 12.8/1000 in clinical risk groups. Waning aVE with time since 2nd dose was also demonstrated, for example, Comirnaty aVE against hospitalisation reduced from 96.0% (95.1–96.7%) 14–69days post-dose 2–82.9% (81.4–84.2%) 182days+ post-dose 2. Interpretation: In all clinical risk groups high levels of vaccine effectiveness against severe endpoints were seen. Reduced vaccine effectiveness was noted among the immunosuppressed group.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Infection

Publication Date





315 - 327