Second-generation COVID-19 vaccines could contribute to establish protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants. We developed COH04S1, a synthetic multiantigen modified vaccinia Ankara-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that co-expresses spike and nucleocapsid antigens. Here, we report COH04S1 vaccine efficacy in animal models. We demonstrate that intramuscular or intranasal vaccination of Syrian hamsters with COH04S1 induces robust Th1-biased antigen-specific humoral immunity and cross-neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and protects against weight loss, lower respiratory tract infection, and lung injury following intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Moreover, we demonstrate that single-dose or two-dose vaccination of non-human primates with COH04S1 induces robust antigen-specific binding antibodies, NAb, and Th1-biased T cells, protects against both upper and lower respiratory tract infection following intranasal/intratracheal SARS-CoV-2 challenge, and triggers potent post-challenge anamnestic antiviral responses. These results demonstrate COH04S1-mediated vaccine protection in animal models through different vaccination routes and dose regimens, complementing ongoing investigation of this multiantigen SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in clinical trials.
© 2022. The Author(s).