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Signal Transduct Target Ther . Safety, immunogenicity and protective effect of sequential vaccination with inactivated and recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine in the elderly: a prospective longitudinal study

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  • Signal Transduct Target Ther . Safety, immunogenicity and protective effect of sequential vaccination with inactivated and recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine in the elderly: a prospective longitudinal study

    Signal Transduct Target Ther


    . 2024 May 13;9(1):129.
    doi: 10.1038/s41392-024-01846-9. Safety, immunogenicity and protective effect of sequential vaccination with inactivated and recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine in the elderly: a prospective longitudinal study

    Hong-Hong Liu # 1 , Yunbo Xie # 2 3 , Bao-Peng Yang # 2 , Huan-Yue Wen 4 , Peng-Hui Yang 5 , Jin-E Lu 4 , Yan Liu 2 , Xi Chen 1 , Meng-Meng Qu 2 , Yang Zhang 2 , Wei-Guo Hong 2 , Yong-Gang Li 2 , Junliang Fu 6 7 , Fu-Sheng Wang 8 9



    AffiliationsAbstract

    The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in the elderly, a high-risk group for severe COVID-19 infection, have not been fully understood. To clarify these issues, this prospective study followed up 157 elderly and 73 young participants for 16 months and compared the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of two doses of the inactivated vaccine BBIBP-CorV followed by a booster dose of the recombinant protein vaccine ZF2001. The results showed that this vaccination protocol was safe and tolerable in the elderly. After administering two doses of the BBIBP-CorV, the positivity rates and titers of neutralizing and anti-RBD antibodies in the elderly were significantly lower than those in the young individuals. After the ZF2001 booster dose, the antibody-positive rates in the elderly were comparable to those in the young; however, the antibody titers remained lower. Gender, age, and underlying diseases were independently associated with vaccine immunogenicity in elderly individuals. The pseudovirus neutralization assay showed that, compared with those after receiving two doses of BBIBP-CorV priming, some participants obtained immunological protection against BA.5 and BF.7 after receiving the ZF2001 booster. Breakthrough infection symptoms last longer in the infected elderly and pre-infection antibody titers were negatively associated with the severity of post-infection symptoms. The antibody levels in the elderly increased significantly after breakthrough infection but were still lower than those in the young. Our data suggest that multiple booster vaccinations at short intervals to maintain high antibody levels may be an effective strategy for protecting the elderly against COVID-19.


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