Durability and Cross-Reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine in Adolescent Children

Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Mar 23;10(4):492. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10040492.


Emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants and waning humoral immunity in vaccinated individuals have resulted in increased infections and hospitalizations. Children are not spared from infection nor complications of COVID-19, and the recent recommendation for boosters in individuals ages 12 years or older calls for broader understanding of the adolescent immune profile after mRNA vaccination. We tested the durability and cross-reactivity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serologic responses over a six-month time course in vaccinated adolescents against the SARS-CoV-2 D614G ("wild type") and Omicron antigens. Serum from 77 adolescents showed that anti-Spike antibodies wane significantly over six months. After completion of a two-vaccine series, cross-reactivity against Omicron-specific receptor-binding domain (RBD) was seen. Functional humoral activation against wild type and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 also declines over time in vaccinated adolescent children. Evidence of waning mRNA-induced vaccine immunity underscores vulnerabilities in long-term pediatric protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, while cross-reactivity highlights the additional benefits of vaccination. Characterization of adolescent immune signatures post-vaccination will inform guidance on vaccine platforms and timelines, and ultimately optimize immunoprotection of children.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; adolescents; antibodies; boosters; immunology; pediatrics; vaccines.