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Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488809


A recently reported parallel preclinical study between a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mRNA vaccine and an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine adjuvanted with alum showed pulmonary immunopathology typical of eosinophil accumulation in a mouse pneumonia model for the latter, which implied a potential role of cellular immunity in the difference in the protection rate between these two forms of vaccines. For those who have been vaccinated with alum-adjuvanted subunit or inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, whether the Th2 responses that have been established and the absence of induced cellular immunity could be changed is an open question. Using two heterologous boosts with Th1-oriented CpG ODN-adjuvanted S1-based SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines for mice that were primed with two doses of Th2-oriented alum-adjuvanted S1-based SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines, we demonstrated that established Th2 orientation could not be reversed to Th1 orientation and that no cellular immunity was induced, which should have been induced if the boosting vaccines were used as the prime vaccines. These results remind us that if widely administered alum-adjuvanted SARS-CoV-2 vaccines cannot overcome the challenge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and that if cellular immunity is important for the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in the future, the choice of more powerful heterologous boosting vaccine forms that can induce cellular immunity should be considered very carefully before application.