Elevated risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants compared with Alpha variant in vaccinated individuals

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Feb 22;15(684):eabn4338. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn4338. Epub 2023 Feb 22.


The extent to which severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) break through infection- or vaccine-induced immunity is not well understood. We analyzed 28,578 sequenced SARS-CoV-2 samples from individuals with known immune status obtained through national community testing in the Netherlands from March to August 2021. We found evidence of an increased risk of infection by the Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), or Delta (B.1.617.2) variants compared with the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant after vaccination. No clear differences were found between vaccines. However, the effect was larger in the first 14 to 59 days after complete vaccination compared with ≥60 days. In contrast to vaccine-induced immunity, there was no increased risk for reinfection with Beta, Gamma, or Delta variants relative to the Alpha variant in individuals with infection-induced immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants