Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of one- and two-dose regimens of the Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine candidate in adult and aged rhesus macaques
Sietske K. Rosendahl Huber,
Joan E. M. van der Lubbe,
Dominika N. Czapska-Casey,
Ana Izquierdo Gil,
Miranda R.M. Baert,
Ella van Huizen,
Adriaan H. de Wilde,
Tim J. Dalebout,
Sebenzile K. Myeni,
Eric J. Snijder,
Dan H. Barouch,
Kinga P. Boszormenyi,
Marieke A Stammes,
Ernst J Verschoor,
Babs E Verstrepen,
Willy M.J.M. Bogers,
Marjolein van Heerden,
Jeroen T.B.M. Tolboom,
Posted 17 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.17.368258
Posted 17 Nov 2020
Safe and effective coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 vaccines are urgently needed to control the ongoing pandemic. While single-dose vaccine regimens would provide multiple advantages, two doses may improve the magnitude and durability of immunity and protective efficacy. We assessed one- and two-dose regimens of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine candidate in adult and aged non-human primates (NHP). A two-dose Ad26.COV2.S regimen induced higher peak binding and neutralizing antibody responses compared to a single dose. In one-dose regimens neutralizing antibody responses were stable for at least 14 weeks, providing an early indication of durability. Ad26.COV2.S induced humoral immunity and Th1 skewed cellular responses in aged NHP that were comparable to adult animals. Importantly, aged Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated animals challenged 3 months post -dose 1 with a SARS-CoV-2 spike G614 variant showed near complete lower and substantial upper respiratory tract protection for both regimens. These are the first NHP data showing COVID-19 vaccine protection against the SARS-CoV-2 spike G614 variant and support ongoing clinical Ad26.COV2.S development. SummaryCOVID-19 vaccines are urgently needed and while single-dose vaccines are preferred, two-dose regimens may improve efficacy. We show improved Ad26.COV2.S immunogenicity in non-human primates after a second vaccine dose, while both regimens protected aged animals against SARS-CoV-2 disease.
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