With increasing numbers of vaccine-breakthrough infections worldwide, assessing the immunogenicity of vaccinated health-care workers that are frequently exposed to SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals is important. In this study, neutralization titers against SARS-CoV-2 were assessed one month after completed prime-boost vaccine regimens in health-care workers vaccinated with either mRNA-mRNA (Comirnaty®, BioNTech-Pfzier, Mainz, Germany/New York, NY, USA, n = 98) or vector-based (Vaxzevria®, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) followed by mRNA-based (Comirnaty® or Spikevax®, Moderna, Cambridge, MA, USA) vaccines (n = 16). Vaccine-induced neutralization titers were compared to time-matched, unvaccinated individuals that were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and presented with mild symptoms (n = 38). Significantly higher neutralizing titers were found in both the mRNA-mRNA (ID50: 2525, IQR: 1667-4313) and vector-mRNA (ID50: 4978, IQR: 3364-7508) prime-boost vaccine regimens when compared to SARS-CoV-2 infection (ID50: 401, IQR: 271-792) (p < 0.0001). However, infection with SARS-CoV-2 induced higher titers when compared to a single dose of Vaxzevria® (p = 0.0072). Between mRNA-mRNA and vector-mRNA prime-boost regimens, the vector-mRNA vaccine regimen induced higher neutralization titers (p = 0.0054). Demographically, both age and time between vaccination doses were associated with vaccine-induced neutralization titers (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). This warrants further investigation into the optimal time to administer booster vaccination for optimized induction of neutralizing responses. Although anecdotal (n = 3), those with exposure to SARS-CoV-2, either before or after vaccination, demonstrated superior neutralizing titers, which is suggestive of further boosting through viral exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022


  • COVID-19
  • MRNA vaccine
  • Neutralization/neutralisation
  • Neutralizing/neutralising antibodies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vector vaccine


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