Safety and Immunogenicity of the ChAdox1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2 in HIV Infection
Frater J., Ewer K., Ogbe A., Pace M., Adele S., Adland E., Alagaratnam J., Aley P., Ali M., Ansari A., Bara A., Bittaye M., Broadhead S., Brown A., Brown H., Cappuccini F., Cooney E., Dejnirattisai W., Dold C., Fairhead C., Fok H., Folegatti P., Fowler J., Gibbs C., Goodman A., Jenkin D., Jones M., Makinson R., Marchevsky N., Mujadidi YF., Nguyen H., Parolini L., Petersen C., Plested E., Pollock K., Ramasamy M., Rhead S., Robinson H., Robinson N., Rongkard P., Ryan F., Serrano S., Stockmann H., Tipoe T., Voysey M., Waters A., Zacharopoulou P., Barnes E., Dunachie S., Goulder P., Klenerman P., Screaton G., Winston A., Hill A., Gilbert S., Pollard A., Fidler S., Fox J., Lambe T., Group OCOVIDVT.
Background: The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine is immunogenic and protects against COVID-19. However, data on vaccine immunogenicity are needed for the 40 million people living with HIV (PWH), who may have less functional immunity and more associated co-morbidities than the general population. Methods: Between the 5<sup>th</sup> and 24<sup>th</sup> November 2020, 54 adults with HIV, aged 18-55 years, were enrolled into a single arm open label vaccination study within the protocol of the larger phase 2/3 COV002 trial. A prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, with two doses (5 × 10<sup>10</sup> vp) was given 4-6 weeks apart. All participants were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with undetectable plasma HIV viral loads and CD4+ T cell counts >350 cells/µl at enrolment. Data were captured on adverse events. Humoral responses were measured by anti-spike IgG ELISA and antibody-mediated live virus neutralisation. Cell-mediated immune responses were measured by <i>ex-vivo</i> interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISpot) and T cell proliferation. All outcomes were compared with a HIV uninfected group from the main COV002 study. Findings: 54 participants with HIV (median age 42.5 years (IQR 37.2-49.8)) received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Median CD4+ T cell count at enrolment was 694 cells/µl (IQR 562-864). Results are reported for 56 days of follow-up. Local and systemic reactions occurring during the first 7 days after prime vaccination included pain at the injection site (49%), fatigue (47%), headache (47%), malaise (34%), chills (23%), and muscle or (36%) joint pain (9%), the frequencies of which were similar to the HIV-negative participants. There were no serious adverse events. Anti-spike IgG responses by ELISA peaked at Day 42 (median 1440 ELISA units, IQR 704-2728) and were sustained out to Day 56. There was no correlation with CD4+ T cell count or age and the magnitude of the anti-spike IgG response at Day 56 (P>0.05 for both). ELISpot and T cell proliferative responses peaked between Day 14 and 28 after prime and were sustained through to Day 56. When compared to participants without HIV there was no statistical difference in magnitude or persistence of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral or cellular responses (P>0.05 for all analyses). Interpretation: In this study of PWH, vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was well tolerated and there was no difference in humoral and cell-mediated immune responses compared to an adult cohort without HIV who received the same vaccination regime. Trial Registration: Trial Registration number is NCT04400838. Funding: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Declaration of Interest: Oxford University has entered into a partnership with AstraZeneca for further development of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222). AstraZeneca reviewed the data from the study and the final manuscript before 474 submission, but the authors retained editorial control. SCG is cofounder of Vaccitech (a collaborator in the early development of this vaccine candidate) and named as an inventor on a patent covering use of ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines (PCT/GB2012/000467) and a patent application covering this SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. TL is named as an inventor on a patent application covering this SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and was consultant to Vaccitech. PMF is a consultant to Vaccitech. AJP is Chair of the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s JCVI, but does not participate in policy advice on coronavirus vaccines, and is a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). AVSH is a cofounder of and consultant to Vaccitech and is named as an inventor on a patent covering design and use of ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines (PCT/GB2012/000467). Ethical Approval: Written informed consent was obtained from all participants, and the trial was done in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practice. This study was approved in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (reference 21584/0424/001-0001) and the South Central Berkshire Research Ethics Committee (reference 20/SC/0145). Vaccine use was authorised by Genetically Modified Organisms Safety Committees at each participating site.