Paucity and discordance of neutralising antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 VOCs in vaccinated immunodeficient patients and health-care workers in the UK.
As of June, 2021, the UK population is only partly vaccinated against COVID-19, with many people having received just one vaccination dose (either BNT162b2 [Pfizer–BioNTech]) or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [AZD1222; Oxford–AstraZeneca]). Tracking the spread of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) remains important for understanding the levels of vaccine-induced immunity and for identifying the emergence of vaccine escape variants. The immune correlates of protection to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 established in phase 3 clinical trials following two doses of vaccine was the titre of neutralising antibodies (NAbs) to SARS-CoV-2 in study groups, before the VOCs emerged.1 Vaccination programmes are leading to promising reductions in disease severity and mortality in vaccinated populations. However, the combined situation of ongoing transmission within communities, including in some vaccine recipients, alongside newly arising VOCs, continues to pose a serious threat to public health and the efficacy of these vaccines. As of Jan 11, 2021, in the UK, the interval between the first and second dose of vaccination was extended to 12 weeks. This extension achieved the aim of maximising population coverage by immunising the greatest possible number of individuals to prevent disease and hospital admissions. Encouragingly, a growing number of studies have reported a marked reduction in the number of individuals with moderate-to-severe clinical symptoms and a substantial decline in the number of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in the UK, underscoring the success of this strategy.