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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 14


Correlation of Immunogenicity and Reactogenicity of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines.


Zhang R, Leung K-Y, Liu D, Fan Y, Lu L, Chan P-C, To K K-W, Chen H, Yuen K-Y, Chan K-H, Hung I F-N
mSphere. 2022 Mar 14:e0091521.
PMID: 35285250.


COVID-19 infection is a global health issue, and vaccination is the main strategy to control this pandemic. In this study, 189 participants received BNT162b2 or CoronaVac vaccine, and 133 of them recorded adverse events (AEs) daily for 4 weeks after vaccination. Their neutralizing antibody against SARS-CoV-2 was determined with live virus microneutralization (vMN) assay. The vMN geometric mean titer (GMT) on day 56 was 129.9 (95% confidence interval [CI],108.6 to 155.2) in the BNT162b2 group and 13.1 (95% CI, 11.2 to 15.3) in the CoronaVac group. Day 56 vMN GMT was 147.9 (95% CI, 118.9 to 184.1) in females and 129.9 (95% CI, 108.6 to 155.2) in males receiving BNT162b2, while it was 14.0 (95% CI, 11.6 to 17.0) in females and 11.4 (95% CI, 8.7 to 15.0) in males receiving CoronaVac. Injection site pain (88.8%) and redness (77.5%) were the most commonly BNT162b2-related AEs, and injection site pain (37.7%) and tiredness (26.4%) were more frequent in the CoronaVac group. Women showed a higher frequency of headache (45.7% versus 29.4%) and joint pain (26.1 versus 14.7%) than men in BTN162b2 group. Headache (26.5% versus 0%) and tiredness (38.2% versus 5.3%) were more common in women than in men vaccinated with CoronaVac. No correlation between any AE and antibody response was observed in BNT162b2 or CoronaVac platforms. After taking the gender factor into account, in the BNT162b2 group, a low correlation between day 21 vMN titer and redness (rho = 0.34) or itching (rho = 0.32) was presented in females, and a low correlation between day 56 vMN titer and fever (rho = 0.35) was presented in males. Taken together, AEs could have a low correlation with BNT162b2 vaccine response. Effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are vital tools for containing the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing population immunity. While currently available vaccines can elicit antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 with high efficacy, the associated side effects may cause vaccine hesitancy. Our work is important in that we have thoroughly analyzed the correlation between immunogenicity and reactogenicity of two COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and CoronaVac) in the study. Our results showed that women had higher levels of neutralizing antibodies than men after receiving BNT162b2 or CoronaVac. Furthermore, a low correlation was observed between day 21 vMN titer and local reactions (redness and itching) in females, as well as between day 56 vMN titer and fever in males receiving BNT162b2. Thus, common side effects are not always a negative impact of vaccination but may serve as an indicator of immunogenicity of vaccines. Our study may help in increasing the public's acceptance and confidence over COVID-19 vaccination and ultimately achieving the goal of containing COVID-19 pandemic.