SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels can be used to assess humoral immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination, and may predict risk of future infection. From cross-sectional antibody testing of 9,361 individuals from TwinsUK and ALSPAC UK population-based longitudinal studies (jointly in April-May 2021, and TwinsUK only in November 2021-January 2022), we tested associations between antibody levels following vaccination and: (1) SARS-CoV-2 infection following vaccination(s); (2) health, socio-demographic, SARS-CoV-2 infection and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination variables.

Within TwinsUK, single-vaccinated individuals with the lowest 20% of anti-Spike antibody levels at initial testing had 3-fold greater odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection over the next six to nine months, compared to the top 20%. In TwinsUK and ALSPAC, individuals identified as at increased risk of COVID-19 complication through the UK “Shielded Patient List” had consistently greater odds (2 to 4-fold) of having antibody levels in the lowest 10%. Third vaccination increased absolute antibody levels for almost all individuals, and reduced relative disparities compared with earlier vaccinations.

These findings quantify the association between antibody level and risk of subsequent infection, and support a policy of triple vaccination for the generation of protective antibodies.


The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY 4.0 International license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite as

Cheetham, N., Kibble, M., Wong, A., Silverwood, R., Knuppel, A., Williams, D., Hamilton, O., Lee, P., Bridger Staatz, C., Di Gessa, G., Zhu, J., Katikireddi, S., Ploubidis, G., Thompson, E., Bowyer, R., Zhang, X., Abbasian, G., Garcia, M., Hart, D., Seow, J., Graham, C., Kouphou, N., Acors, S., Malim, M., Mitchell, R., Northstone, K., Major-Smith, D., Matthews, S., Breeze, T., Crawford, M., Molloy, L., Kwong, A., Doores, K., Chaturvedi, N., Duncan, E., Steves, C. & Timpson, N. 2022, 'Antibody levels following vaccination against SARS-CoV-2: associations with post-vaccination infection and risk factors [pre-print]'. To be published in MedRxiv [Preprint]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.19.22275214

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Last updated: 02 November 2023
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