Incidence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Severe Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections among Hospitalized Patients in Africa

Keywords: Incidence, Risk factors, Outcomes, Severe COVID-19, Infections, Hospitalized, Patients in Africa


Background: The emergence of breakthrough COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated individuals has raised concerns regarding vaccine efficacy and the impact of emerging variants. This systematic review aims to investigate the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of severe breakthrough infections among hospitalized patients in Africa.

Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted from 2021 to 12 April 2024 across major academic databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus, to identify outcome studies on severe breakthrough COVID-19 infections among hospitalized patients in Africa. Data extraction and synthesis were performed to analyze the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of severe breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

Results: Findings revealed a concerning incidence of breakthrough infections, particularly notable during the Omicron variant period, emphasizing ongoing transmission risks within vaccinated populations. Risk factors such as younger age (16-35) years, and incomplete vaccination schemas were consistently associated with severe breakthrough infections, guiding risk stratification and targeted interventions. Clinical characteristics highlighted a notable proportion of severe cases, underscoring the importance of continued vigilance and preventive measures.

Conclusion: Breakthrough COVID-19 infections in Africa, particularly in countries like Egypt and South Africa reveal varying incidence rates, risk factors, and outcomes. These studies underscore the importance of understanding the dynamics of breakthrough infections and their implications for public health interventions. While studies in Egypt, and South Africa provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to breakthrough infections and their outcomes, there is a notable gap in research in other African countries. Conducting similar studies in other African countries is crucial to tailor vaccination strategies and public health interventions to the local context. By understanding the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of breakthrough infections, policymakers and healthcare practitioners can better allocate resources, implement targeted interventions, and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the population. Additionally, research in other African countries can contribute to global knowledge on breakthrough infections, particularly in understudied regions, and inform broader strategies for controlling the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. Therefore, conducting a study on breakthrough infections in other African countries is essential to fill this gap in knowledge and enhance the effectiveness of COVID-19 response efforts in a country and beyond.

Author Biography

Ruth Chipampe Kafwanka, School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lusaka, Zambia.


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How to Cite
Kafwanka, R. C., & Chipimo, M. (2024). Incidence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Severe Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections among Hospitalized Patients in Africa. International Research in Medical and Health Sciences, 7(2), 7-21.