Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date



COVID-19 transmission rates among vaccinated persons attending large gatherings have not been reported widely. This research was intended to track the potential incidence of COVID-19 among physicians and their families who attended a large in-person gathering in Atlanta in August 2021. After the successful conclusion of a large-scale indoor gathering, we encouraged all attendees to self-report the incidence of COVID-19 illness. In addition, an online questionnaire was disseminated to collect basic information about age, gender, place of residence, vaccination status including the number of doses, type, and date of each dose as well as behavioral and convention factors that would have contributed to the infection rates. Information about current COVID-19 infection status, symptoms, and severity were also collected. We also contacted the attendees through telephone to gather pending information about their COVID-19 status, after attending the meeting. Most attendees were physicians, employees in the healthcare industry or family members of healthcare professionals. Among the 520 participants of the meeting, no COVID-19 illness was reported up to six weeks after attending the convention. As a sub-group analysis, we obtained demographic data from 143 attendees, through an online survey. Among the survey respondents, 43% were over the age of 60 years, 10% over the age of 70 years, 29% and 14% each between 31-45 years and 12-30 years. 53% were women. Almost 99% had received both doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in January and February of 2021. Public health measures including the use of indoor masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene were followed by 76%. None of the convention attendees who responded had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 infection six weeks after leaving the convention. None reported being diagnosed with COVID-19 for at least 30 days before attending the convention. This report confirms the efficacy of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines against protection from COVID-19 illness among participants of large scale indoor gatherings. Our findings support the notion that large-scale events can be successfully conducted among fully vaccinated persons who follow public health guidelines.