COVID-19 booster uptake and breakthrough for healthcare workers in Wales

A new research study published in the journal, Vaccine, has uncovered rates of COVID-19 booster vaccination uptake and subsequent infection breakthrough amongst healthcare workers in Wales.

Breakthrough infections are those who were administered a booster dose, who went on to become infected with COVID-19.

The study used anonymised, individual-level, linked electronic health records (EHR) and administrative data sources in SAIL Databank to look at 73,000 healthcare workers living in Wales.

The research was led by Dr Stuart Bedston and Dr Emily Lowthian of Population Data Science at Swansea University, with funding from Health Data Research UK’s National Core Studies programme, led by Associate Professor Ashley Akbari and Professor Ronan Lyons.

The researchers examined uptake of the two booster vaccines available to healthcare workers – Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) and Moderna (mRNA-1273), and measured highly accurate PCR test data for rates of COVID-19 infection breakthrough.

The administration of booster doses began in September 2021, by which time most healthcare workers where eligible given that they were amongst the first to receive the primary vaccinations.

The team analysed data up to February 2022.

Researchers investigated the role of socio-demographics, household composition, prior infection, and staff role characteristics in relation to uptake of the booster vaccination as well as breakthrough infections for healthcare workers.

Commenting on the findings and implications of the study, Dr Stuart Bedston, said,

“I thought what we found was interesting, whilst uptake was high, we still found key patterns between socio-demographics and lower uptake, previously seen in broader general population studies. We encourage governments and their respective health services to consider how the importance of vaccination is communicated with these groups.”

The research was conducted in collaboration with BREATHE – The Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health, Edinburgh University’s Usher Institute and the EAVE II DaCVaP study, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Oxford, Imperial College London and supported by the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre.

Read the full paper here –

Related project collaborations and links –