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November 2022

Humoral and cellular immune memory to four COVID-19 vaccines.

Zhang Z, Mateus J, Coelho CH, Dan JM, Moderbacher CR, Gálvez RI, Cortes FH, Grifoni A, Tarke A, Chang J, Escarrega EA, Kim C, Goodwin B, Bloom NI, Frazier A, Weiskopf D, Sette A, Crotty S.

Cell. 2022 Jul 7;185(14):2434-2451.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.05.022. Epub 2022 May 27. PMID: 35764089; PMCID: PMC9135677.


Multiple COVID-19 vaccines, representing diverse vaccine platforms, successfully protect against symptomatic COVID-19 cases and deaths. Head-to-head comparisons of T cell, B cell, and antibody responses to diverse vaccines in humans are likely to be informative for understanding protective immunity against COVID-19, with particular interest in immune memory. Here, SARS-CoV-2-spike-specific immune responses to Moderna mRNA-1273, Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2, Janssen Ad26.COV2.S, and Novavax NVX-CoV2373 were examined longitudinally for 6 months 100% of individuals made memory CD4+ T cells, with cTfh and CD4-CTL highly represented after mRNA or NVX-CoV2373 vaccination. mRNA vaccines and Ad26.COV2.S induced comparable CD8+ T cell frequencies, though only detectable in 60-67% of subjects at 6 months. A differentiating feature of Ad26.COV2.S immunization was a high frequency of CXCR3+ memory B cells. mRNA vaccinees had substantial declines in antibodies, while memory T and B cells were comparatively stable. These results may also be relevant for insights against other pathogens.