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Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(1)2022 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235231


OBJECTIVES: This is a longitudinal prospective study which was designed to assess the trend of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies targeting the Spike (anti-S) and Nucleocapside protein (anti-N) viral antigens over a 9-month period after the administration of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a big COVID-19 hospital located in Northern Italy. PARTICIPANTS: 7411 vaccinated workers were included in a linear mixed-effect model analysis performed to model the anti-S decay over the 9 months following the vaccination, during serological screening performed approximately 2, 4, and 9 months following the first jab administration. Serological tests performed in the 9 months preceding vaccine administration were retrospectively analysed to identify the burden of infections occurring before vaccination. RESULTS: The serological assays were used for monitoring the antibody titres during the observational period. Vaccination significantly reduced the rate of infection and elicited a specific humoral response, which lasted during the whole observational period (9 months). A decay was observed in all considered subgroups. At 35 weeks, workers with no history of pre-vaccine infection showed a significantly lower anti-S titre (-2522 U/mL on average (-2589.7 to -2445.7)); younger workers showed significantly higher anti-S titres (140.2 U/mL on average (82.4 to 201.3)). Only seven immunocompromised workers did not show significant levels of anti-S antibodies; three of them, all females, showed a specific T-cell response. CONCLUSIONS: Comparing the 9-month periods before and after the first vaccine dose, a significant reduction in infection rate was observed (1708 cases vs. 156). Pre-vaccine infection, especially if contracted during the first pandemic wave, greatly enhanced the response to vaccination, which was significantly affected also by age both in extent and duration (inversely related). A gender effect on the T-cell immune response was observed in a small group of workers who did not produce antibodies after vaccine administration.