MDPI, Vaccines, 9(9), p. 1017, 2021
BNT162b2 has proven to be highly effective, but there is a paucity of data regarding immunogenicity factors and comparison between response to vaccination and natural infection. This study included 871 vaccinated healthcare workers (HCW) and 181 patients with natural infection. Immunogenicity was assessed by measuring anti-SARS-CoV-2 against the RBD domain of the spike protein (anti-RBD). Samples were collected 1–2 weeks after vaccination or 15–59 days post-onset of symptoms. Post-vaccine anti-RBD concentrations were associated with age, gender, vaccination side-effects (VSE) and prior infection (Pr-CoV). Anti-RBD median levels (95%CI) were lower by 2466 (651–5583), 6228 (3254–9203) and 7651 (4479–10,823) AU/mL in 35–44, 45–54, 55–70 yrs, respectively, compared with the 18–34 yrs group. In females, the median levels were higher by 2823 (859–4787), 5024 (3122–6926) in individuals with VSE, and 9971 (5158–14,783) AU/mL in HCWs with Pr-CoV. The ratio of anti-RBD in vaccinated individuals versus those with natural infection varied from 1.0 to 19.4. The high immunogenicity of BNT162b2 is verified, although its sustainability has yet to be elucidated. The use of comparative data from natural infection serological panels, expressing the clinical heterogeneity of natural infection, may facilitate early decisions for candidate vaccines to be evaluated in clinical trials.