Safety and immunogenicity of a bivalent SARS-CoV-2 protein booster vaccine, SCTV01C, in adults previously vaccinated with mRNA vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1/2 clinical trial

EBioMedicine. 2023 Jan;87:104386. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104386. Epub 2022 Dec 5.


Background: Booster vaccination is an efficient way to address the waning protection of vaccines and immune escape of SARS-CoV-2 variants. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of SCTV01C, a novel bivalent protein vaccine as a booster for people who previously received two doses of mRNA vaccine.

Methods: In this randomized, phase 1/2 trial, adults fully vaccinated with mRNA vaccines 3-24 month earlier were enrolled. Participants received SCTV01C at 20 μg, 40 μg or placebo. The primary endpoints were adverse reactions within 7 days and immunogenicity on Day 28 after vaccination. This trial was registered with (NCT05043311).

Findings: Between January 27 and April 28, 2022, 234 adults were randomly assigned to receive SCTV01C or placebo. The most common solicited adverse events (AEs) were Grade 1 injection-site pain (10.7%) and pyrexia (6.3%). There were no reports of Grade 3 or above solicited AE, serious AEs or AEs of special interests. On Day 28 post the booster, the geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) of the specific binding IgG antibodies to spike protein for placebo, 20 μg and 40 μg SCTV01C were 1649, 4153 and 5354 BAU/mL, with fold of increase from baseline of 1.0, 2.8 and 3.4-fold, respectively. GMTs of neutralizing antibodies against live Delta variant were 1280, 3542, and 4112, with fold of increase of 1.1, 3.9 and 4.1-fold, respectively; GMTs of neutralizing antibodies against live Omicron variant were 218, 640, and 1083, with fold of increase of 1.1, 4.4 and 5.1-fold, respectively. Participants with low neutralizing antibody titers at baseline (below the lower limit of quantitation) had 64.0 and 49.4-fold of increase in GMTs for Delta and Omicron, respectively.

Interpretation: The heterologous booster of SCTV01C was safe, and induced uniformly high cross-neutralization antibody responses against Delta and Omicron variants.

Funding: Beijing Science and Technology Plan Project (Z221100007922012) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2022YFC0870600) supported this study.

Keywords: Bivalent protein vaccine; Booster; Immunogenicity; SARS-CoV-2; SCTV01C; Safety.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccines, Combined
  • mRNA Vaccines


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • mRNA Vaccine
  • mRNA Vaccines
  • SCTV01C vaccine
  • Vaccines, Combined
  • COVID-19 Vaccines

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants

Associated data