‌September 12th, 2022

Vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID-19 outcomes within the French overseas territories


Although several observational studies on the effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have been published, vaccination coverage by August, 3 2021, remained low in the French overseas territories, despite Martinique and Guadeloupe experiencing an unprecedented number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations. We aimed to determine the association between COVID-19 vaccination and severe COVID-19 in the French overseas territories.



The French National Health Data System was used to conduct a 1:1 matched-cohort study. For each individual receiving a first dose of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or Ad26.COV2-S vaccine between December 27, 2020, and July 31, 2021, one unvaccinated individual was randomly selected and matched for year of birth, sex, and overseas territories on the date of vaccination. We estimated vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related hospitalization and in-hospital death after a full vaccination schedule, defined as ≥14 days after the second dose. Analyses were stratified according to the number of comorbidities.



276,778 vaccinated individuals had a double-dose vaccination during the follow-up period and were followed with their paired unvaccinated control. The average age was 50 years and 53% were women. During a median 77 days of follow-up from day 14 after the second injection, 96 COVID-19-related hospitalizations occurred among vaccinated individuals and 1,465 among their unvaccinated counterparts. Overall, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization was 94% (95%CI [93–95]) and exceeded 90% in each overseas territory, except Mayotte. The results were similar looking specifically at hospitalizations between July 15 and September 30, 2021. Vaccine effectiveness against in-hospital death was similar (94% [95%CI 91–96]). The risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization increased with the number of comorbidities, especially among vaccinated individuals.


Conclusions and relevance

In conclusion, vaccination has a major effect in reducing the risk of severe Covid-19 in the French overseas territories. The risk of COVID-19-hospitalization was very low among vaccinated individuals, especially in the absence of comorbidities. These results aim to increase confidence in vaccine effectiveness in overseas territories in hope of achieving better vaccination coverage.

Access the article

Find the article on the website of Plos One