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mRNA vaccines induce durable immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern
Science  (IF47.728),  Pub Date : 2021-10-14, DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0829
Rishi R. Goel, Mark M. Painter, Sokratis A. Apostolidis, Divij Mathew, Wenzhao Meng, Aaron M. Rosenfeld, Kendall A. Lundgreen, Arnold Reynaldi, David S. Khoury, Ajinkya Pattekar, Sigrid Gouma, Leticia Kuri-Cervantes, Philip Hicks, Sarah Dysinger, Amanda Hicks, Harsh Sharma, Sarah Herring, Scott Korte, Amy E. Baxter, Derek A. Oldridge, Josephine R. Giles, Madison E. Weirick, Christopher M. McAllister, Moses Awofolaju, Nicole Tanenbaum, Elizabeth M. Drapeau, Jeanette Dougherty, Sherea Long, Kurt D’Andrea, Jacob T. Hamilton, Maura McLaughlin, Justine C. Williams, Sharon Adamski, Oliva Kuthuru, The UPenn COVID Processing Unit‡, Ian Frank, Michael R. Betts, Laura A. Vella, Alba Grifoni, Daniela Weiskopf, Alessandro Sette, Scott E. Hensley, Miles P. Davenport, Paul Bates, Eline T. Luning Prak, Allison R. Greenplate, E. John Wherry, S. Adamski, Z. Alam, M. M. Addison, K. T. Byrne, A. Chandra, H. C. Descamps, N. Han, Y. Kaminskiy, S. C. Kammerman, J. Kim, A. R. Greenplate, J. T. Hamilton, N. Markosyan, J. Han Noll, D. K. Omran, A. Pattekar, E. Perkey, E. M. Prager, D. Pueschl, A. Rennels, J. B. Shah, J. S. Shilan, N. Wilhausen, A. N. Vanderbeck

The durability of immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination remains unclear. Here, we longitudinally profiled vaccine responses in SARS-CoV-2 naïve and recovered individuals for 6 months after vaccination. Antibodies declined from peak levels but remained detectable in most subjects at 6 months. We found mRNA vaccines generated functional memory B cells that increased from 3-6 months post-vaccination, with the majority of these cells cross-binding the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants. mRNA vaccination further induced antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and early CD4+ T cell responses correlated with long-term humoral immunity. Recall responses to vaccination in individuals with pre-existing immunity primarily increased antibody levels without substantially altering antibody decay rates. Together, these findings demonstrate robust cellular immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and variants for at least 6 months after mRNA vaccination.