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Immunogenicity of standard and extended dosing intervals of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rebecca PayneORCiD, Alex Nicols, Jess Tyerman, Dr Tom Altmann, Dr Christopher DuncanORCiD, Professor Sophie HambletonORCiD, Professor Muzlifah Haniffa, Dr Brendan PayneORCiD, Dr Jarmila SpegarovaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 The Author(s)Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6–14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Payne RP, Longet S, Austin JA, Skelly DT, Dejnirattisai W, Adele S, Meardon N, Faustini S, Al-Taei S, Moore SC, Tipton T, Hering LM, Angyal A, Brown R, Nicols AR, Gillson N, Dobson SL, Amini A, Supasa P, Cross A, Bridges-Webb A, Reyes LS, Linder A, Sandhar G, Kilby JA, Tyerman JK, Altmann T, Hornsby H, Whitham R, Phillips E, Malone T, Hargreaves A, Shields A, Saei A, Foulkes S, Stafford L, Johnson S, Wootton DG, Conlon CP, Jeffery K, Matthews PC, Frater J, Deeks AS, Pollard AJ, Brown A, Rowland-Jones SL, Mongkolsapaya J, Barnes E, Hopkins S, Hall V, Dold C, Duncan CJA, Richter A, Carroll M, Screaton G, de Silva TI, Turtle L, Klenerman P, Dunachie S, Abuelgasim H, Adland E, Adlou S, Akther HD, Alhussni A, Ali M, Ansari MA, Arancibia-Carcamo CV, Bayley M, Brown H, Chalk J, Chand M, Chawla A, Chinnakannan S, Cutteridge J, de Lara C, Denly L, Diffey B, Dimitriadis S, Drake TM, Donnison T, Dupont M, Eyre D, Fairman A, Gardiner S, Gilbert-Jarmillo J, Goulder P, Hackstein C-P, Hambleton S, Haniffa M, Haworth J, Holmes J, Horner E, Jamsen A, Jones C, Kasanyinga M, Kelly S, Kirk R, Knight ML, Lawrie A, Lee L, Lett L, Lillie K, Lim N, Mehta H, Mentzer AJ, O'Donnell D, Ogbe A, Pace M, Payne BAI, Platt G, Poolan S, Provine N, Ramamurthy N, Robinson N, Romaniuk L, Rongkard P, Sampson OL, Simmons B, Spegarova JS, Stephenson E, Subramaniam K, Thaventhiran J, Thomas S, Travis S, Tucker S, Turton H, Watson A, Watson L, Weeks E, Wilson R, Wood S, Wright R, Xiao H, Zawia AAT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell

Year: 2021

Volume: 184

Issue: 23

Pages: 5699-5714.e11

Print publication date: 11/11/2021

Online publication date: 16/10/2021

Acceptance date: 12/10/2021

Date deposited: 24/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0092-8674

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4172

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.10.011


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Funder referenceFunder name
C.J.A.D. is funded by a Wellcome clinical research career development fellowship (211153/Z/18/Z).
National Institute for Health Research (UKRIDHSC COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call, grant reference COV19-RECPLAS)
R.P.P. is funded by a career re-entry fellowship (204721/Z/16/Z).