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There are varying data concerning the effect of prior anti-vector immunity on the T-cell response induced by immunisation with an identical vectored vaccine containing a heterologous antigen insert. To determine whether prior exposure to ChAdOx1-SARS-CoV2 immunisation (Vaxzevria®) impacts magnitudes of antigen-specific T-cell responses elicited by subsequent administration of the same viral vector (encoding HBV antigens, ChAdOx1-HBV), healthy volunteers that had received Vaxzevria® (n = 15) or the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (n = 11) between 10 and 18 weeks prior were recruited to receive a single intramuscular injection of ChAdOx1-HBV. Anti-ChAdOx1-neutralising antibody titers were determined, and vector or insert-specific T-cell responses were measured by a gamma-interferon ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assay using multiparameter flow cytometry. Participants were followed for three months after the ChAdOx1-HBV injection, which was well-tolerated, and no dropouts occurred. The baseline ChAdOx1 neutralisation titers were higher in the Vaxzevria® cohort (median of 848) than in the mRNA cohort (median of 25). T-cell responses to HBV antigens, measured by ELISpot, were higher on day 28 in the mRNA group (p = 0.013) but were similar between groups on day 84 (p = 0.441). By ICS, these differences persisted at the last time point. There was no clear correlation between the baseline responses to the adenoviral hexon and the subsequent ELISpot responses. As vaccination within 3 months using the same viral vector backbone affected the insert-specific T-cell responses, a greater interval after prior adenoviral immunisation using heterologous antigens may be warranted in settings in which these cells play critical roles.

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Barinthus Biotherapeutics, Harwell, Didcot OX11 0DF, UK.