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Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(1): ofab575, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631248


BACKGROUND: The relationship between postvaccination symptoms and strength of antibody responses is unclear. The goal of this study was to determine whether adverse effects caused by vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine are associated with the magnitude of vaccine-induced antibody levels. METHODS: We conducted a single-center, observational cohort study consisting of generally healthy adult participants that were not severely immunocompromised, had no history of coronavirus disease 2019, and were seronegative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein before vaccination. Severity of vaccine-associated symptoms was obtained through participant-completed questionnaires. Testing for immunoglobulin G antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and receptor-binding domain was conducted using microsphere-based multiplex immunoassays performed on serum samples collected at monthly visits. Neutralizing antibody titers were determined by microneutralization assays. RESULTS: Two hundred six participants were evaluated (69.4% female, median age 41.5 years old). We found no correlation between vaccine-associated symptom severity scores and vaccine-induced antibody titers 1 month after vaccination. We also observed that (1) postvaccination symptoms were inversely correlated with age and weight and more common in women, (2) systemic symptoms were more frequent after the second vaccination, (3) high symptom scores after first vaccination were predictive of high symptom scores after second vaccination, and (4) older age was associated with lower titers. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of postvaccination symptoms after receipt of the BNT162b2 vaccine does not equate to lack of vaccine-induced antibodies 1 month after vaccination.

Pathogens ; 10(5)2021 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234792


The development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is a global priority due to the current high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. Currently, there are over 160 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates at the clinical or pre-clinical stages of development. Of these, there are only three whole-virus vaccine candidates produced using ß-propiolactone or formalin inactivation. Here, we prepared a whole-virus SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 PsIV) using a novel psoralen inactivation method and evaluated its immunogenicity in mice using two different adjuvants, alum and Advax-2. We compared the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 PsIV against SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccines expressing either full-length or truncated spike proteins. We also compared the psoralen-inactivated vaccine against a DNA prime, psoralen-inactivated vaccine boost regimen. After two doses, the psoralen-inactivated vaccine, when administered with alum or Advax-2 adjuvants, generated a dose-dependent neutralizing antibody responses in mice. Overall, the pattern of cytokine ELISPOT responses to antigen-stimulation observed in this study indicates that SARS-CoV-2 PsIV with the alum adjuvant promotes a Th2-type response, while SARS-CoV-2 PsIV with the Advax-2 adjuvant promotes a Th1-type response.