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Dataset Open Access

Heterologous immunization with inactivated vaccine followed by mRNA booster elicits strong humoral and cellular immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

Fanglei Zuo; Hassan Abolhassani; Likun Du; Antonio Piralla; Federico Bertoglio; Leire de Campos-Mata; Hui Wan; Maren Schubert; Irene Cassaniti; Yating Wang; Josè Camilla Sammartino; Rui Sun; Stelios Vlachiotis; Federica Bergami; Makiko Kumagai-Braesch; Juni Andréll; Zhaoxia Zhang; Yintong Xue; Esther Veronika Wenzel; Luigi Calzolai; Luca Varani; Nima Rezaei; Zahra Chavoshzadeh; Fausto Baldanti; Michael Hust; Lennart Hammarström; Harold Marcotte; Qiang Pan-Hammarström

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant has raised concerns on vaccine efficacy and the urgent need to study more efficient vaccination strategies. Here we evaluated the effect of an mRNA vaccine booster on immunogenicity in individuals vaccinated with two doses of inactivated vaccine. We observed that an mRNA vaccine booster significantly increased the plasma level of specific antibodies that bind to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) or the spike (S) ectodomain (S1+S2) of both the G614 and the Omicron variants, compared to two doses of homologous inactivated vaccine. The level of RBD- and S-specific IgG antibodies and virus neutralization titers against variants of concern in the heterologous vaccination group were similar to that in individuals receiving three doses of homologous mRNA vaccine or a boost of mRNA vaccine after infection, but markedly higher than that in individuals receiving three doses of a homologous inactivated vaccine. Moreover, this heterologous vaccination regime significantly enhanced the RBD-specific memory B cell response and S1-specific T cell response compared to two or three doses of homologous inactivated vaccine. Our study demonstrates that an mRNA vaccine booster in individuals vaccinated with inactivated vaccines can be highly beneficial, as it markedly increases the humoral and cellular immune responses against the virus, including the Omicron variant

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