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INTRODUCTION: Inactivated, viral vector and mRNA vaccines have been used in the Nepali COVID-19 vaccination programme but there is little evidence on the effectiveness of these vaccines in this setting. The aim of this study is to describe COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in Nepal and provide information on infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a hospital-based, prospective test-negative case-control study conducted at Patan Hospital, Kathmandu. All patients >18 years of age presenting to Patan Hospital with COVID-19-like symptoms who have received a COVID-19 antigen/PCR test are eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome is vaccine effectiveness of licensed COVID-19 vaccines against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 disease.After enrolment, information will be collected on vaccine status, date of vaccination, type of vaccine, demographics and other medical comorbidities. The primary outcome of interest is laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Cases (positive for SARS-CoV-2) and controls (negative for SARS-CoV-2) will be enrolled in a 1:4 ratio. Vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 disease will be analysed by comparing vaccination status with SARS-CoV-2 test results.Positive SARS-CoV-2 samples will be sequenced to identify circulating variants and estimate vaccine effectiveness against common variants.Measuring vaccine effectiveness and identifying SARS-CoV-2 variants in Nepal will help to inform public health efforts. Describing disease severity in relation to specific SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccine status will also inform future prevention and care efforts. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Oxford Tropical Ethics Committee (OxTREC) (ref: 561-21) and the Patan Academy of Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (ref: drs2111121578). The protocol and supporting study documents were approved for use by the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC 550-2021). Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and to the public health authorities in Nepal.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





COVID-19, Epidemiology, Paediatric infectious disease & immunisation, Humans, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Case-Control Studies, Nepal, Prospective Studies, Vaccine Efficacy, Vaccines