Age is the major risk factor for mortality after SARS-CoV-2 infection and older people have received priority consideration for COVID-19 vaccination. However vaccine responses are often suboptimal in this age group and few people over the age of 80 years were included in vaccine registration trials. We determined the serological and cellular response to spike protein in 100 people aged 80-96 years at 2 weeks after second vaccination with the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Antibody responses were seen in every donor with high titres in 98%. Spike-specific cellular immune responses were detectable in only 63% and correlated with humoral response. Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection substantially increased antibody responses after one vaccine and antibody and cellular responses remained 28-fold and 3-fold higher respectively after dual vaccination. Post-vaccine sera mediated strong neutralisation of live Victoria infection and although neutralisation titres were reduced 14- fold against the P.1 variant first discovered in Brazil they remained largely effective. These data demonstrate that the mRNA vaccine platform delivers strong humoral immunity in people up to 96 years of age and retains broad efficacy against the P.1 Variant of Concern. Funding This work was partially supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) funded by DHSC/UKRI and the National Core Studies Immunity programme.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information: National Core Studies: Immunity programme:
Authors: Paul Moss, Helen Parry, Gokhan Tut, Sian Faustini, Christine Stephens, Rachel Bruton.
UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium: UKRI/DHSC Paul Moss:
Authors: Helen Parry, Gokhan Tut, Sian Faustini, Christine Stephens, Rachel Bruton.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Andrew Makin: is affiliated with Oxford Immunotec Ltd. The author has no financial interests to declare. The other authors declare that no competing interests exist.
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Publisher Copyright: © 2021, Parry et al.
Citation: Parry, Helen, et al. "mRNA vaccination in people over 80 years of age induces strong humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 with cross neutralisation of P. 1 Brazilian variant." Elife 10 (2021): e69375.