Publication: Inactive SARS-CoV-2 vaccine generates high antibody responses in healthcare workers with and without prior infection.
Background and objectives: Healthcare workers (HCWs) were among the first groups to be vaccinated in Turkey. The data to be obtained by the vaccination of HCWs would guide wide spread vaccination programs.
Materials and methods: The study included 330 HCWs working at Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Hospital and vaccinated with inactive CoronaVac (Sinovac Life Sciences, China) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in two doses (28 days apart). Anti-Spike /RBD IgG levels were measured 14 days after the first dose and 28 days after the second dose. Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) (ARCHITECT IgG II Quant test, Abbott, USA), which is 100% compatible with plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT), was used.
Results: Of the participants, 211 (63.9%) were female, 119 (36.1%) were male, and mean age was 39.6 ± 7.7 years. In those without prior COVID-19 history; (n = 255) antibody positivity was detected as 48.2% (95% CI: 42.1-54.3) 14 days after the first dose of vaccine, and 99.2% (95% CI: 98.1-100) at day 28 after the second dose. Antibody titers were significantly lower in patients with hypertension (p = 0.011). In those with prior history of COVID-19 (n = 75); both the antibody positivity rates after the first vaccine (48.2% vs 100%, p = 0.000) and the anti-spike/RBD antibody levels after the second vaccine (with a ≥ 1050 AU/mL titer equivalent to PRNT 1/80 dilution) was significant than infection-naive group (25.9% vs. 54.7%, p = 0.000). Antibody positivity after two doses of vaccination for all study group was 99.4% (95% CI: 98.6-100).
Conclusions: Two doses CoronaVac produce effective humoral immunity in HCWs. Antibody response is significantly higher in those with prior history of COVID-19 than infection-naive group. Given no significant benefit of the second dose, a single shot of vaccination may be sufficient for those with prior history of COVID-19. Monitoring humoral and cellular immune responses, considering new variants, is required to validate this approach.