Although the current rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections has decreased significantly, COVID-19 still ranks very high as a cause of death worldwide. As of October 2023, the weekly mortality rate is still at 600 deaths in the United States alone, which surpasses even the worst mortality rates recorded for influenza. Thus, the long-term outlook of COVID-19 is still a serious concern outlining the need for the next-generation vaccine. This study found that a prime/pull coronavirus vaccine strategy increased the frequency of functional SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected triple transgenic HLA-DR*0101/HLA-A*0201/hACE2 mouse model, thereby resulting in low viral titer and reduced COVID-19-like symptoms.
Keywords: CD8+ T cells; COVID-19; CXCL-11; SARS-CoV-2; lungs; memory CD4+.