DOI: 10.3390/vaccines11081376 ISSN:

A Comparative Study of Immunogenicity, Antibody Persistence, and Safety of Three Different COVID-19 Boosters between Individuals with Comorbidities and the Normal Population

Fatemeh Ashrafian, Fahimeh Bagheri Amiri, Anahita Bavand, Mahsan Zali, Mona Sadat Larijani, Amitis Ramezani
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology

Data on immunogenicity, immune response persistency, and safety of COVID-19 boosters in patients with comorbidities are limited. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate three different boosters’ immunogenicity and safety in individuals with at least one underlying disease (UD) (obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus) with healthy ones (HC) who were primed with two doses of the BBIBP-CorV vaccine and received a booster shot of the same priming vaccine or protein subunit vaccines, PastoCovac Plus or PastoCovac. One hundred and forty subjects including sixty-three ones with a comorbidity and seventy-seven healthy ones were enrolled. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was assessed before the booster injection and 28, 60, 90, and 180 days after it. Moreover, the adverse events (AEs) were recorded on days 7 and 21 postbooster shot for evaluating safety outcomes. Significantly increased titers of antispike, antiRBD, and neutralizing antibodies were observed in both UD and HC groups 28 days after the booster dose. Nevertheless, the titer of antispike IgG and anti-RBD IgG was lower in the UD group compared to the HC group. The long-term assessment regarding persistence of humoral immune responses showed that the induced antibodies were detectable up to 180 days postbooster shots though with a declined titer in both groups with no significant differences (p > 0.05). Furthermore, no significant difference in antibody levels was observed between each UD subgroup and the HC group, except for neutralizing antibodies in the hypertension subgroup. PastoCovac Plus and PastoCovac boosters induced a higher fold rise in antibodies in UD individuals than BBIBP-CorV booster recipients. No serious AEs after the booster injection were recorded. The overall incidence of AEs after the booster injection was higher in the UD group than the HC group among whom the highest systemic rate of AEs was seen in the BBIBP-CorV booster recipients. In conclusion, administration of COVID-19 boosters could similarly induce robust and persistent humoral immune responses in individuals with or without UD primarily vaccinated with two doses of the BBIBP-CorV. Protein-based boosters with higher a higher fold rise in antibodies and lower AEs in individuals with comorbidities might be considered a better choice for these individuals.

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