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Comparative assessment of immunological responses to different COVID-19 vaccines

Comparative assessment of immunological responses to different COVID-19 vaccines

Project Lead(s)
Associate Professor
Project Background 

The ongoing transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) has resulted in several human fatalities and significant economic loss worldwide. While a number of different preventive measures are currently being deployed, COVID-19 vaccination seems the most promising approach for reducing transmission and mortality. The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority has approved COVID-19 vaccines including the AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sputnik V, Pfizer-BioNTech Moderna and Johnson& Johnson vaccines for use in Ghana. Subsequently the Ghana Health Service begun vaccine rollout in March 2021 and many sections of the Ghanaian population have received either partial or full vaccination with the various approved vaccines. It is therefore important to examine the effectiveness of the different vaccines and the longevity and vaccine-induced immunity within the Ghanaian population.  

This study seeks to examine and compare immune responses elicited by the AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines amongst vaccinated persons within the Legon community and to assess the effect of booster shots on immune responses.  

Objectives/Research Areas 
  1. Collect samples from persons vaccinated with at least three different vaccines (150 persons per vaccine, 450 persons total) before a booster shot and 3 months, 6 months and 9 months respectively after the booster shot for comparison.  
  2. Measure antibody (IgG and IgM) levels against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and nucleocapsid proteins in collected plasma samples. 
  3. Measure the levels of selected cytokines of interest (including TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-6) in supernatants following culturing and SARS-CoV-2-specific stimulation of PBMCs collected at the different time points 
COVID-19 National Trust Fund, Ghana