Prospective Cohort Study of the Kinetics of Specific Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Infection and to Four SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines Available in Serbia, and Vaccine Effectiveness: A 3-Month Interim Report

Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Sep 17;9(9):1031. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9091031.


Real-life data on the performance of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are still limited. We here present the rates of detection and levels of antibodies specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD (receptor binding domain) elicited by four vaccines available in Serbia, including BNT-162b2 (BioNTech/Pfizer), BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm), Gam-COVID-Vac (Gamaleya Research Institute) and ChAdOx1-S (AstraZeneca), compared with those after documented COVID-19, at 6 weeks and 3 months post first vaccine dose or post-infection. Six weeks post first vaccine dose, specific IgG antibodies were detected in 100% of individuals fully vaccinated with BNT-162b2 (n = 100) and Gam-COVID-Vac (n = 12) and in 81.7% of BBIBP-CorV recipients (n = 148), while one dose of ChAdOx1-S (n = 24) induced specific antibodies in 75%. Antibody levels elicited by BNT-162b2 were higher, while those elicited by BBIBP-CorV were lower, than after SARS-CoV-2 infection. By 3 months post-vaccination, antibody levels decreased but remained ≥20-fold above the cut-off in BNT-162b2 but not in BBIBP-CorV recipients, when an additional 30% were seronegative. For all vaccines, antibody levels were higher in individuals with past COVID-19 than in naïve individuals. A total of twelve new infections occurred within the first 3 months post-vaccination, eight after the first dose of BNT-162b2 and ChAdOx1-S (one each) and BBIBP-CorV (six), and four after full vaccination with BBIBP-CorV, but none required hospitalization.

Keywords: BBIBP-CorV; BNT-162b2; COVID-19; ChAdOx1-S; Gam-COVID-Vac; SARS-CoV-2; specific antibodies; vaccine effectiveness.