The results of a study carried out simultaneously in 4 countries, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico, were published in Frontiers in Immunology. The study involved almost 2000 employees of the companies of the Techint Group with the aim to verify the adequate immunization and therefore the level of safety following vaccinations against Covid-19 as well as to evaluate the efficacy of approved vaccines and the estimated duration of antibody levels in the blood.
The peculiarity of the study is that it was possible to compare the international data thanks to a uniform clinical protocol, with the exact timing of acquisition of blood samples and a single diagnostic test for all seven types of vaccine used in the various countries: an mRNA, DNA, viral vector, and inactivated virus-based vaccines, in single and bi-dose.
Humanitas coordinated the study with the Hospital Clinica Nova of Monterrey in Mexico and the hospital network of the Hospital San Francisco Xavier foundation in Brazil.
The result is a photograph capable of comparing different vaccines and the response they were able to activate with the possible development of adverse events before the arrival of the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 (the administration of the booster dose does not fall within the scope of the study).
"The data that emerged tell us that all vaccines induce an antibody response, including Sputnik and Coronavac”, explains Maria Rescigno, Professor of General Pathology and Deputy Pro-Rector with responsibility for research at Humanitas University, who coordinated the work in which Dr. Elena Azzolini, head of the Humanitas Vaccination Center, also participated. “The photograph concerns SARS-CoV-2 until the arrival of the Delta variant. Since the study is still ongoing, in the future we will also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the various vaccines in protecting against the disease.”
The data collected also included adverse events related to vaccines' ability to induce an antibody response. It was found that the higher the antibody response, as with the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, the more side effects were recorded, mainly fever, arm pain, headache, and fatigue. Coronavac and Sputnik, on the other hand, are characterized by having few side effects.
“This is really a great and coordinated team effort – explains Mauro Teixeira, professor of immunology at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. The study allows us to compare immune responses to various vaccines around the globe. This kind of knowledge is fundamental to inform people of the comparative efficacy of vaccines and helps designing studies which will define the best vaccine schedules that will remain in the future.”
“It is an extraordinary research work, where we had the opportunity to evaluate and compare the immune responses of the most important and most widely circulated vaccines worldwide, obtaining solid and consistent information regarding their safety and effectiveness against SARS-CoV- 2 – says Miguel Sanz, Medical management director – Nova Hospital and Medical Center, Mexico. In addition, it is the first study published in collaboration by the health institutions of the Techint Group and we are very happy with the results”.
The study: a standardized method for obtaining comparable data
The protocol of the study, which is still ongoing, includes five blood samples for each person according to a precise schedule: immediately before the first dose and the second dose, 21 days after the second dose, six months after the second dose, 12 months after the second dose.
The researchers of the four countries used the same type of test, susceptible and with an extensive range of evaluation, therefore able to "not flatten" the data relating to high thresholds of antibodies in the blood to also compare responses with different responses amplitude.
A long-standing collaboration
The Techint Group, an industrial group of companies with over 75 thousand employees around the globe, participated together with Humanitas, a highly specialized hospital and internationally renowned research and teaching center, in a scientific research project, thus making a contribution to medical research and offering the communities where the group has its roots, concrete results on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
As part of the Techint Group, Humanitas also provided medically accurate information about the illness and the vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic and shared its expertise in the medical field by offering guidance on prevention and health-related initiatives for Techint Group employees’ wellbeing.
List of authors of the work
Maria Elena Romero-Ibarguengoitia1,2*, Arnulfo González-Cantú1,2, Chiara Pozzi3, Riccardo Levi3,4, Maximiliano Mollura5, Riccardo Sarti3,4, Miguel Ángel Sanz-Sánchez1,2, Diego Rivera-Salinas1,2, Yodira Guadalupe Hernández-Ruíz1,2, Ana Gabriela Armendariz-Vázquez1,2, Gerardo Francisco Del Rio-Parra1,2, Irene Antonieta Barco-Flores1, Rosalinda González-Facio1, Elena Azzolini3,4, Riccardo Barbieri5, Alessandro Rodrigo de Azevedo Dias6, Milton Henriques Guimarães Júnior7, Alessandra Bastos-Borges7, Cecilia Acciardi8, Graciela Paez-Bo9, Mauro Martins Teixeira10 and Maria Rescigno3,4*
1 Research Department, Hospital Clínica Nova de Monterrey, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
2 Vicerrectoría de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
3 Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy
4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy
5 Department of Electronic, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
6 Health Department, Ternium Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
7 Research Department, Fundação São Francisco Xavier, Ipatinga, Brazil
8 Health Secretary, Unidad Hospitalaria San José, Campana, Argentina
9 Laboratory Department, Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos San Felipe, San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Argentina
10 Biochemistry and Immunology Department, ICB, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil