TitlePolyfunctional CD4 T-cells correlating with neutralising antibody is a hallmark of COVISHIELDTM and COVAXIN® induced immunity in COVID-19 exposed Indians.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsRakshit S., Babji S., Parthiban C., Madhavan R., Adiga V., Sharon EJ, N. Kumar C, Ahmed A., Shivalingaiah S., Shashikumar N., Johnson A.R, Mamatha V., Ramesh N., Goud B.R, Asokan M., Mayor S, Kang G., D'souza G., Dias M., Vyakarnam A.
JournalNPJ Vaccines
Date Published09/2023

Detailed characterisation of immune responses induced by COVID-19 vaccines rolled out in India: COVISHIELDTM (CS) and COVAXIN® (CO) in a pre-exposed population is only recently being discovered. We addressed this issue in subjects who received their primary series of vaccination between November 2021 and January 2022. Both vaccines are capable of strongly boosting Wuhan Spike-specific neutralising antibody, polyfunctional Th1 cytokine producing CD4+ T-cells and single IFN-γ + CD8+ T-cells. Consistent with inherent differences in vaccine platform, the vector-based CS vaccine-induced immunity was of greater magnitude, breadth, targeting Delta and Omicron variants compared to the whole-virion inactivated vaccine CO, with CS vaccinees showing persistent CD8+ T-cells responses until 3 months post primary vaccination. This study provides detailed evidence on the magnitude and quality of CS and CO vaccine induced responses in subjects with pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity in India, thereby mitigating vaccine hesitancy arguments in such a population, which remains a global health challenge.