Background Emerging and future SARS-CoV-2 variants may jeopardize the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. Therefore, it is important to know how the different vaccines perform against diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants. Methods and findings In a prospective cohort of 165 SARS-CoV-2 naive health care workers in the Netherlands, vaccinated with either one of four vaccines (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, AZD1222 or Ad26. COV2.S), we performed a head-to-head comparison of the ability of sera to recognize and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron). Repeated serum sampling was performed 5 times during a year (from January 2021 till January 2022), including before and after booster vaccination with BNT162b2. Four weeks after completing the initial vaccination series, SARS-CoV-2 wild-type neutralizing antibody titers were highest in recipients of mRNA-1273, followed by recipients of BNT162b2 (geometric mean titers (GMT) of 358 [95% CI 231-556] and 214 [95% CI 153- 299], respectively; p<0.05), and substantially lower in those vaccinated with the adenovirus vector-based vaccines AZD1222 and Ad26.COV2.S (GMT of 18 [95% CI 11-30] and 14 [95% CI 8-25] IU/ml, respectively; p<0.001). VOCs neutralization was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction in neutralization GMT observed against the Omicron variant (fold change 0.03 [95% CI 0.02-0.04], p<0.001). The booster BNT162b2 vaccination increased neutralizing antibody titers for all groups with substantial improvement against the VOCs including the Omicron variant. We used linear regression and linear mixed model analysis. All results were adjusted for possible confounding of age and sex. Study limitations include the lack of cellular immunity data. Conclusions Overall, this study shows that the mRNA vaccines appear superior to adenovirus vectorbased vaccines in inducing neutralizing antibodies against VOCs four weeks after initial vaccination and after booster vaccination, which implies the use of mRNA vaccines for both initial and booster vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003991
JournalPLoS Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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