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Nature Research, npj Vaccines, 1(9), 2024

DOI: 10.1038/s41541-023-00785-w



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Immunogenicity and reactogenicity of intradermal mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 vaccination: a non-inferiority, randomized-controlled trial

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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AbstractFractional dosing can be a cost-effective vaccination strategy to accelerate individual and herd immunity in a pandemic. We assessed the immunogenicity and safety of primary intradermal (ID) vaccination, with a 1/5th dose compared with the standard intramuscular (IM) dose of mRNA-1273 in SARS-CoV-2 naïve persons. We conducted an open-label, non-inferiority, randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands between June and December 2021. One hundred and fifty healthy and SARS-CoV-2 naïve participants, aged 18–30 years, were randomized (1:1:1) to receive either two doses of 20 µg mRNA-1273 ID with a standard needle (SN) or the Bella-mu® needle (BM), or two doses of 100 µg IM, 28 days apart. The primary outcome was non-inferiority in seroconversion rates at day 43 (D43), defined as a neutralizing antibody concentration threshold of 465 IU/mL, the lowest response in the IM group. The non-inferiority margin was set at −15%. Neutralizing antibody concentrations at D43 were 1789 (95% CI: 1488–2150) in the IM and 1263 (951–1676) and 1295 (1020–1645) in the ID-SN and ID-BM groups, respectively. The absolute difference in seroconversion proportion between fractional and standard-dose groups was −13.95% (−24.31 to −3.60) for the ID-SN and −13.04% (−22.78 to −3.31) for the ID-BM group and exceeded the predefined non-inferiority margin. Although ID vaccination with 1/5th dose of mRNA-1273 did not meet the predefined non-inferior criteria, the neutralizing antibody concentrations in these groups are far above the proposed proxy for protection against severe disease (100 IU/mL), justifying this strategy in times of vaccine scarcity to accelerate mass protection against severe disease.