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Publication Detail
Antibody and cellular immune responses following dual COVID-19 vaccination within infection-naive residents of long-term care facilities: an observational cohort study.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Tut G, Lancaster T, Sylla P, Butler MS, Kaur N, Spalkova E, Bentley C, Amin U, Jadir A, Hulme S, Ayodele M, Bone D, Tut E, Bruton R, Krutikov M, Giddings R, Shrotri M, Azmi B, Fuller C, Baynton V, Irwin-Singer A, Hayward A, Copas A, Shallcross L, Moss P
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    e461, e469
  • Journal:
    Lancet Healthy Longev
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Aged, 80 and over, Antibodies, Viral, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Long-Term Care, Middle Aged, SARS-CoV-2, Vaccination, Vaccines
BACKGROUND: Older age and frailty are risk factors for poor clinical outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such, COVID-19 vaccination has been prioritised for individuals with these factors, but there is concern that immune responses might be impaired due to age-related immune dysregulation and comorbidity. We aimed to study humoral and cellular responses to COVID-19 vaccines in residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs). METHODS: In this observational cohort study, we assessed antibody and cellular immune responses following COVID-19 vaccination in members of staff and residents at 74 LTCFs across the UK. Staff and residents were eligible for inclusion if it was possible to link them to a pseudo-identifier in the COVID-19 datastore, if they had received two vaccine doses, and if they had given a blood sample 6 days after vaccination at the earliest. There were no comorbidity exclusion criteria. Participants were stratified by age (<65 years or ≥65 years) and infection status (previous SARS-CoV-2 infection [infection-primed group] or SARS-CoV-2 naive [infection-naive group]). Anticoagulated edetic acid (EDTA) blood samples were assessed and humoral and cellular responses were quantified. FINDINGS: Between Dec 11, 2020, and June 27, 2021, blood samples were taken from 220 people younger than 65 years (median age 51 years [IQR 39-61]; 103 [47%] had previously had a SARS-CoV-2 infection) and 268 people aged 65 years or older of LTCFs (median age 87 years [80-92]; 144 [43%] had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection). Samples were taken a median of 82 days (IQR 72-100) after the second vaccination. Antibody responses following dual vaccination were strong and equivalent between participants younger then 65 years and those aged 65 years and older in the infection-primed group (median 125 285 Au/mL [1128 BAU/mL] for <65 year olds vs 157 979 Au/mL [1423 BAU/mL] for ≥65 year olds; p=0·47). The antibody response was reduced by 2·4-times (467 BAU/mL; p≤0·0001) in infection-naive people younger than 65 years and 8·1-times (174 BAU/mL; p≤0·0001) in infection-naive residents compared with their infection-primed counterparts. Antibody response was 2·6-times lower in infection-naive residents than in infection-naive people younger than 65 years (p=0·0006). Impaired neutralisation of delta (1.617.2) variant spike binding was also apparent in infection-naive people younger than 65 years and in those aged 65 years and older. Spike-specific T-cell responses were also significantly enhanced in the infection-primed group. Infection-naive people aged 65 years and older (203 SFU per million [IQR 89-374]) had a 52% lower T-cell response compared with infection-naive people younger than 65 years (85 SFU per million [30-206]; p≤0·0001). Post-vaccine spike-specific CD4 T-cell responses displayed single or dual production of IFN-γ and IL-2 were similar across infection status groups, whereas the infection-primed group had an extended functional profile with TNFα and CXCL10 production. INTERPRETATION: These data reveal suboptimal post-vaccine immune responses within infection-naive residents of LTCFs, and they suggest the need for optimisation of immune protection through the use of booster vaccination. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.
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