Effectiveness of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and ChAdOx1-S vaccines against severe covid-19 outcomes in a nationwide mass vaccination setting: cohort study

BMJ Med. 2022 Jun 13;1(1):e000104. doi: 10.1136/bmjmed-2021-000104. eCollection 2022.


Objective: To estimate the effectiveness of the three covid-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), Moderna (mRNA-1273), and Oxford-AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S) in people after receiving two doses.

Design: Cohort study.

Setting: Nationwide, population based data in France, from the French National Health Data System (Système National des Données de Santé), between 27 December 2020 and 30 April 2021.

Participants: Adults aged ≥50 years receiving a first dose of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, or ChAdOx1-S were randomly selected (1:1) and matched on the date of vaccination with one unvaccinated control. Individuals were matched on year of birth, sex, region of residence, and residence in a nursing home (for individuals aged ≥75 years). All individuals were followed up until 20 August 2021.

Main outcome measures: Primary outcome measure was vaccine effectiveness estimated at least 14 days after the second dose against covid-19 related hospital admission using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for baseline characteristics and comorbidities. Vaccine effectiveness against covid-19 related death in hospital was also investigated.

Results: 11 256 832 vaccinated individuals were included in the study (63.6% (n=7 161 658) with the BNT162b2 vaccine, 7.6% (n=856 599) with the mRNA-1273 vaccine, and 28.8% (n=3 238 575) with the ChAdOx1-S vaccine), along with 11 256 832 matched unvaccinated controls. During follow-up (up to 20 August 2021), 43 158 covid-19 related hospital admissions and 7957 covid-19 related deaths in hospital were registered. Compared with unvaccinated controls, vaccine effectiveness of two doses against covid-19 related hospital admission was 91% (95% confidence interval 91% to 92%), 95% (93% to 96%), and 91% (89% to 94%) for the BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and ChAdOx1-S vaccines, respectively. Similar results were observed for vaccine effectiveness of two doses against covid-19 related deaths in hospital (BNT162b2, 91% (90% to 93%); mRNA-1273, 96% (92% to 98%); and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 88% (68% to 95%)). At 5-6 months after receiving the second dose of vaccine, effectiveness remained high at 94% (92% to 95%) for the BNT162b2 vaccine and 98% (93% to 100%) for the mRNA-1273 vaccine. Vaccine effectiveness of ChAdOx1-S estimated at 3-4 months was 90% (63% to 97%). All three vaccines remained effective at the time of circulation of the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 between 1 July and 20 August 2021 (effectiveness between 89% and 95%).

Conclusions: These findings provide evidence indicating that two doses of ChAdOx1-S is as effective as two doses of mRNA vaccines in France against the alpha and delta variants of SARS-CoV-2. The effectiveness of ChAdOx1-S should be further examined with a longer follow-up and in the light of the circulation of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiology; Infection control; Preventive medicine; Public health.