Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines vary for reasons that remain poorly understood. A range of sociodemographic, behavioural, clinical, pharmacologic and nutritional factors could explain these differences. To investigate this hypothesis, we tested for presence of combined IgG, IgA and IgM (IgGAM) anti-Spike antibodies before and after 2 doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (ChAdOx1, AstraZeneca) or BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) in UK adults participating in a population-based longitudinal study who received their first dose of vaccine between December 2020 and July 2021. Information on sixty-six potential sociodemographic, behavioural, clinical, pharmacologic and nutritional determinants of serological response to vaccination was captured using serial online questionnaires. We used logistic regression to estimate multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for associations between independent variables and risk of seronegativity following two vaccine doses. Additionally, percentage differences in antibody titres between groups were estimated in the sub-set of participants who were seropositive post-vaccination using linear regression. Anti-spike antibodies were undetectable in 378/9101 (4.2%) participants at a median of 8.6 weeks post second vaccine dose. Increased risk of post-vaccination seronegativity associated with administration of ChAdOx1 vs. BNT162b2 (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 6.6, 95% CI 4.2-10.4), shorter interval between vaccine doses (aOR 1.6, 1.2-2.1, 6-10 vs. >10 weeks), poor vs. excellent general health (aOR 3.1, 1.4-7.0), immunodeficiency (aOR 6.5, 2.5-16.6) and immunosuppressant use (aOR 3.7, 2.4-5.7). Odds of seronegativity were lower for participants who were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive pre-vaccination (aOR 0.2, 0.0-0.6) and for those taking vitamin D supplements (aOR 0.7, 0.5-0.9). Serologic responses to vaccination did not associate with time of day of vaccine administration, lifestyle factors including tobacco smoking, alcohol intake and sleep, or use of anti-pyretics for management of reactive symptoms after vaccination. In a sub-set of 8727 individuals who were seropositive post-vaccination, lower antibody titres associated with administration of ChAdOx1 vs. BNT162b2 (43.4% lower, 41.8-44.8), longer duration between second vaccine dose and sampling (12.7% lower, 8.2-16.9, for 9-16 weeks vs. 2-4 weeks), shorter interval between vaccine doses (10.4% lower, 3.7-16.7, for <6 weeks vs. >10 weeks), receiving a second vaccine dose in October-December vs. April-June (47.7% lower, 11.4-69.1), older age (3.3% lower per 10-year increase in age, 2.1-4.6), and hypertension (4.1% lower, 1.1-6.9). Higher antibody titres associated with South Asian ethnicity (16.2% higher, 3.0-31.1, vs. White ethnicity) or Mixed/Multiple/Other ethnicity (11.8% higher, 2.9-21.6, vs. White ethnicity), higher body mass index (BMI; 2.9% higher, 0.2-5.7, for BMI 25-30 vs. <25 kg/m2) and pre-vaccination seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 (105.1% higher, 94.1-116.6, for those seropositive and experienced COVID-19 symptoms vs. those who were seronegative pre-vaccination). In conclusion, we identify multiple determinants of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, many of which are modifiable.


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Jolliffe, D., Faustini, S., Holt, H., Perdek, N., Maltby, S., Talaei, M., Greenig, M., Vivaldi, G., Tydeman, F., Symons, J., Davies, G., Lyons, R., Griffiths, C., Kee, F., Sheikh, A., Shaheen, S., Richter, A. & Martineau, A. 2022, 'Determinants of Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: Population-Based Longitudinal Study (COVIDENCE UK)', Vaccines, 10(10), article no: 1601. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10101601

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Last updated: 03 November 2022
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