This research is an example of the Centre for Population Health’s collaborative approach to research.
Lead author Joe Hollinghurst, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). Collaborators include HDRUK, Public Health Wales, Swansea University Medical School and the Centre for Population Health.
Older care home residents are a priority group to receive vaccinations for COVID-19 in the UK. However, the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine amongst older people is relatively unknown, with very few trials recruiting older people and older people with ill health.
Care homes are a cornerstone of adult social care. They provide accommodation and care for those needing substantial help with personal care, but more importantly, they are people’s homes. Within care homes people live in close proximity and may live with frailty and many different health conditions, making them vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious disease.
The research team conducted an observational data-linkage study including 14,104 vaccinated older care home residents in Wales (UK) using anonymised electronic health records and administrative data from the SAIL Databank. The study investigated positive COVID-19 tests following a COVID-19 vaccination from 4th December 2020 to 4th March 2021.
- 148 (1%) care home residents had a positive test following vaccination.
- 90% of the positive tests occurred within 28-days of a vaccination.
- There was a reduced risk of a positive test for individuals who had a previous infection.
- Increased frailty severity was associated with an increased chance of a positive test.
Researchers found that an increased risk of infection after 21-days was associated with increased frailty severity. The study revealed that most infections occurred within 28-days of vaccination, suggesting extra precautions to reduce transmission risk should be taken in this time frame.