Publication date: Nov 01, 2023
The relationship between SARS-CoV-2 transmission and environmental factors has been analyzed in numerous studies since the outbreak of the pandemic, resulting in heterogeneous results and conclusions. This may be due to differences in methodology, considered variables, confounding factors, studied periods and/or lack of adequate data. Furthermore, previous works have reported that the lack of population immunity is the fundamental driver in transmission dynamics and can mask the potential impact of environmental variables. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between climate variables and COVID-19 transmission considering the influence of population immunity. We analyzed two different periods characterized by the absence of vaccination (low population immunity) and a high degree of vaccination (high level of population immunity), respectively. Although this study has some limitations, such us the restriction to a specific climatic zone and the omission of other environmental factors, our results indicate that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 may increase independently of temperature and specific humidity in periods with low levels of population immunity while a negative association is found under conditions with higher levels of population immunity in the analyzed regions.