Kinetics of immune responses to the AZD1222/Covishield vaccine with varying dose intervals in Sri Lankan individuals

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Oct 27:2021.10.27.21265561. doi: 10.1101/2021.10.27.21265561.


Background: To understand the kinetics of immune responses with different dosing gaps of the AZD1222 vaccine, we compared antibody and T cell responses in two cohorts with two different dosing gaps.

Methods: Antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus were assessed in 297 individuals with a dosing gap of 12 weeks, sampled at 12 weeks post second dose (cohort 1) and in 77 individuals with a median dosing gap of 21.4 weeks (cohort 2) sampled 6 weeks post second dose. ACE2 receptor blocking antibodies (ACE2R-Abs), antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the virus and variants of concern (VOC) and ex vivo T cell responses were assessed in a sub cohort.

Results: All individuals (100%) had SARS-CoV-2 specific total antibodies and 94.2% of cohort 1 and 97.1% of cohort 2 had ACE2R-blocking Abs. There was no difference in antibody titres or positivity rates in different age groups in both cohorts. The ACE2R-blocking Abs (p<0.0001) and antibodies to the RBD of the VOCs were significantly higher in cohort 2, compared to cohort 1. 41.2% to 65.8% of different age groups gave a positive response by the haemagglutination assay to the RBD of the ancestral virus and VOCs in cohort 1, while 53.6% to 90% gave a positive response in cohort 2. 17/57 (29.8%) of cohort 1 and 17/29 (58.6%) of cohort 2 had ex vivo IFNγ ELISpot responses above the positive threshold. The ACE2R-blocking antibodies and ex vivo IFNγ ELISpot responses at 12 weeks post-first dose, significantly correlated with levels 12 weeks post second dose (Spearman's r=0.46, p=0.008) and (Spearman's r=0.71, p<0.0001) respectively.

Conclusions: Both dosing schedules resulted in high levels of antibody and T cell responses post vaccination, although those with a longer dosing gap had a higher magnitude of responses, possibly as immune responses were measured 6 weeks post second dose compared to 12 weeks post second dose.

Publication types

  • Preprint