Does the COVID vaccine really help? A cross-sectional study to assess the positivity rate among Health Care Workers and staff members at tertiary care hospitals

Authors

  • Numrah Shakeel Malik Departmental of  Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital, Islamabad - Pakistan
  • Muhammad Umair Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostics, Foundation University College of Dentistry, Islamabad-Pakistan
  • Farah Qasim Department of Oral Biology,  Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital, Islamabad - Pakistan
  • Ayesha Azam Department of Operative Dentistry,  Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital,  Islamabad - Pakistan
  • Muhammad Muddassar Department of Oral Medicine, Dental College HITEC-IMS, Taxila - Pakistan
  • Rimsha Qasim Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital, Islamabad-Pakistan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1996/pjcm.v29i3.829

Keywords:

Booster Dose, Co-morbidities, COVID-19, Healthcare Impact

Abstract

Background: The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a worldwide race for the development of effective vaccines to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A prevailing strategy in numerous vaccine initiatives has been to target the virus's spike (S) protein, a critical component for viral entry into host cells. As trillions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the globe, the profound impact of these vaccines on mitigating the devastating effects of the disease is becoming increasingly evident. With millions of lives lost to the virus, the urgency and significance of vaccine development and deployment cannot be overstated. Objective: This quantitative cross-sectional study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on healthcare workers in five tertiary care hospitals across different cities in Pakistan. The study focused on breakthrough infections, demographics, occupation, co-morbidities, vaccination records, and the perception of vaccine effectiveness among vaccinated individuals. Methodology: The study included 372 participants aged 16 years and above, who were healthcare workers at selected tertiary care hospitals. A questionnaire with 15 standardized questions was circulated among the individuals, from September 2021 to March 2023. Data analysis was performed using SPSS V21.0, and  chi-square test was applied. The study aimed to identify breakthrough infections, including asymptomatic cases, through SARS-CoV-2 PCR assays. Results: The mean age of the participants was 46.2 years, with 53.51% being female. COVID-19 infections were most common among Ward Staff (34.59%) and Nurses (30.08%) after vaccination. The nasal swab test was the primary method for detecting SARS-COVID-19 (97%). A majority of infected workers were female (64%). Most participants (93%) were vaccinated, with 53.27% receiving two doses, 24.27% one dose, and 15.83% a third booster dose. The Sinopharm vaccine was the most commonly administered one (66.16%). 79% of participants tested positive after vaccination, with 86% testing positive after the first dose and 23% after the second dose. Among the infected, 46% had underlying medical conditions. Conclusion: The study revealed that breakthrough infections among healthcare workers were observed even after vaccination. Most infections occurred after the first dose. A significant proportion of infected workers reported persistent symptoms, including "long COVID-19." While a majority recommended vaccination to others, some believed that the vaccine did not prevent infection but resulted in milder symptoms. This underscores the need for continued vigilance and adherence to safety measures even after vaccination. Keywords:  Booster Dose; Co-morbidities; COVID-19; Healthcare Impact; Symptoms; Vaccination

Author Biographies

Muhammad Umair, Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostics, Foundation University College of Dentistry, Islamabad-Pakistan

   

Farah Qasim, Department of Oral Biology,  Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital, Islamabad - Pakistan

   

Ayesha Azam, Department of Operative Dentistry,  Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital,  Islamabad - Pakistan

   

Muhammad Muddassar, Department of Oral Medicine, Dental College HITEC-IMS, Taxila - Pakistan

   

Rimsha Qasim , Foundation University College of Dentistry & Hospital, Islamabad-Pakistan

   

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Published

2023-09-02

How to Cite

Numrah Shakeel Malik, Muhammad Umair, Farah Qasim, Ayesha Azam, Muhammad Muddassar, & Rimsha Qasim. (2023). Does the COVID vaccine really help? A cross-sectional study to assess the positivity rate among Health Care Workers and staff members at tertiary care hospitals. Pakistan Journal of Chest Medicine, 29(3), 254–261. https://doi.org/10.1996/pjcm.v29i3.829

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Original Article

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