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Assessment of vaccinations and breakthrough infections after adjustment of the dynamic zero-COVID-19 strategy in China: an online survey

posted on 2023-09-19, 01:41 authored by Shijie Qin, Yanhua Li, Likui Wang, Xin Zhao, Xiaopeng Ma, George F. Gao

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in China has grown rapidly after adjustment of the dynamic zero-COVID-19 strategy. However, how different vaccination states affect symptoms, severity and post COVID conditions was unclear. Here, we used an online questionnaire to investigate the infection status of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among 11,897 participants, with 55.55% positive and 28.42% negative. The common COVID-19 symptoms were fatigue (73.31%), cough (70.02%), fever (65.25%) and overall soreness (58.64%); self-reported asymptomatic infection accounted for 0.7% of participants. The persistent symptoms at 1 month after infection included fatigue (48.7%), drowsiness (34.3%), cough (30.1%), decreased exercise ability (23.1%) and pharyngeal discomfort (19.4%), which was reduced by more than 200% at 2 months. Participants with complications such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypertension, etc. have a higher proportion of hospitalization and longer recovery time (p < = 0.01). Multiple vaccination statuses reduced the infection (p < 0.001) and severity rates (p = 0.022) by varying degrees as well as reduced the risk of high fever (>39.1 °C), chills, diarrhea and ageusia/anosmia, respectively (p < 0.05). Vaccination may enhance some upper respiratory symptoms, including sore throat, nasal congestion and runny nose, respectively (p < 0.05). Participants who had been vaccinated within 3 months were better protected by helping reduce their risk of overall soreness, chills and ageusia/anosmia, respectively (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our work has updated the epidemic characteristics of the breakthrough infection (BTI) wave after the dynamic zero-COVID-19 strategy, providing data and insights on how different vaccination statuses affect COVID-19 symptoms and disease prognosis.


This work was supported by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation: [Grant Number 2022M723344]; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: [Grant Number INV-027420].


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