A single dose COVID-19 vaccines, mostly mRNA-based vaccines, are shown to induce robust antibody responses in individuals who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, suggesting the sufficiency of a single dose to those individuals. However, these important data are limited to developed nations and lacking in resource-limited countries, like Ethiopia.
We compared receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific IgG antibodies in 40 SARS-CoV-2 naïve participants and 25 participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, who received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. We measured the antibody response in post-vaccination blood samples from both groups of participants collected at four different post-vaccination time points: 8- and 12-weeks after each dose of the vaccine administration using an in-house developed ELISA.
We observed a high level of anti-RBD IgG antibodies titers 8-weeks after a single dose administration (16/27; 59.3%) among naïve participants, albeit dropped significantly (p<0.05) two months later, suggesting the protective immunity elicited by the first dose ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine will likely last for a minimum of three months. However, as expected, a significant (p<0.001) increase in the level of anti-RBD IgG antibodies titers was observed after the second dose administration in all naïve participants. By contrast, the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine-induced anti-RBD IgG antibody titers produced by the P.I participants at 8- to 12-weeks post-single dose vaccination were found to be similar to the antibody titers seen after a two-dose vaccination course among infection- naïve participants and showed no significant (p>0.05) increment following the second dose administration.
Taken together, our findings show that a single ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 dose in previously SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals elicits similar antibody responses to that of double dose vaccinated naïve individuals. Age and sex were not associated with the level of vaccine-elicited immune responses in both individuals with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are required to assess the need for a booster dose to extend the duration and amplitude of the specific protective immune response in Ethiopia settings, especially following the Omicron pandemic.