Background: Little is known about how demographic, behavioural, and vaccine-related factors affect risk of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. We aimed to identify risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection after primary and booster vaccinations.

Methods: This prospective, population-based, UK study in adults (≥16 years) vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 assessed risk of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection up to February, 2022, for participants who completed a primary vaccination course (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2) and those who received a booster dose (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273). Cox regression models explored associations between sociodemographic, behavioural, clinical, pharmacological, and nutritional factors and test-positive breakthrough infection, adjusted for local weekly SARS-CoV-2 incidence.

Findings: 1051 (7·1%) of 14 713 post-primary participants and 1009 (9·5%) of 10 665 post-booster participants reported breakthrough infection, over a median follow-up of 203 days (IQR 195-216) and 85 days (66-103), respectively. Primary vaccination with ChAdOx1 (vs BNT162b2) was associated with higher risk of infection in both post-primary analysis (adjusted hazard ratio 1·63, 95% CI 1·41-1·88) and after an mRNA-1273 booster (1·26 [1·00-1·57] vs BNT162b2 primary and booster). Lower risk of infection was associated with older age (post-primary: 0·97 [0·96-0·97] per year; post-booster: 0·97 [0·97-0·98]), whereas higher risk of infection was associated with lower educational attainment (post-primary: 1·78 [1·44-2·20] for primary/secondary vs postgraduate; post-booster: 1·46 [1·16-1·83]) and at least three weekly visits to indoor public places (post-primary: 1·36 [1·13-1·63] vs none; post-booster: 1·29 [1·07-1·56]).

Interpretation: Vaccine type, socioeconomic status, age, and behaviours affect risk of breakthrough infection after primary and booster vaccinations.

Funding: Barts Charity, UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Cite as

Vivaldi, G., Jolliffe, D., Holt, H., Tydeman, F., Talaei, M., Davies, G., Lyons, R., Griffiths, C., Kee, F., Sheikh, A., Shaheen, S. & Martineau, A. 2022, 'Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection after primary vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 and after booster vaccination with BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273: A population-based cohort study (COVIDENCE UK)', The Lancet Regional Health Europe, 22, article no: 100501. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2022.100501

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Last updated: 11 October 2022
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