Background: The rise in antibody titers against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and its duration are considered an important indicator for confirming the effect of a COVID-19 vaccine, and self-paid tests of antibody titer are conducted in many facilities nationwide. Methods: The relationship between the number of days after the second and third dose of vaccines, age, and antibody titer was determined from the medical records of general internal medicine clinics that conducted self-paid testing of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody titer using Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S (Roche Diagnostics); the relationship between the number of days after two or more doses of vaccines and antibody titer was also determined. We also examined the antibody titers in cases of spontaneous infection with SARS-CoV-2 after two or more doses of the vaccine. Results: Log-transformed SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers measured within 1 month from the second or third dose of vaccine showed a negative correlation with age (p < 0.05). In addition, the log-transformed antibody titers also showed a negative correlation trend with the number of days after the second dose of vaccine (p = 0.055); however, there were no significant correlations between the log-transformed antibody titers and the number of days after the third dose of vaccine. The median antibody titer after the third vaccination was 18,300 U/mL, more than 10 times the median antibody titer after the second dose of vaccine, of 1185 U/mL. There were also some cases of infection after the third or fourth dose of vaccine, with antibody titers in the tens of thousands of U/ml after infection, but the patients still received further booster vaccinations after the infection. Conclusions: The antibody titers after the third vaccination did not attenuate after a short follow-up period of one month, while they tended to attenuate after the second vaccination. It is considered that many people in Japan received further booster vaccinations after spontaneous infection, even though they already had antibody titers in the tens of thousands of U/mL due to "hybrid immunity" after spontaneous infection following two or more doses of vaccine. The clinical significance of the booster vaccination in this population still needs to be thoroughly investigated and should be prioritized for those with low SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV-2 antibody; breakthrough infection; vaccines.