The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic still poses a serious threat to public health. At the moment, vaccines are considered the most promising strategy for curbing the pandemic and are being vigorously pursued worldwide. While large randomized trials have demonstrated the short-term development of humoral and cellular immunity up to approximately three months, it is currently unclear how long this immunity persists and whether the humoral and cellular immune response differs from that of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our setting as a reference vaccine center provides a unique opportunity to assess the development of the vaccine-induced immunity in the long-term and also to compare vaccine- versus infection-induced (wild contagion) immunity, which we currently examine in the Zurich Coronavirus Cohort (ZSAC) Study.
This project consists of a prospective observational cohort study among individuals in the Canton of Zurich who receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine at the Corona Center of the UZH, the vaccination reference center of the Canton of Zurich. Individuals will be followed up for a total duration of 12 months with repeated assessments of antibody and T cell immune responses as well as questionnaires to track their clinical outcomes over time. We will randomly select individuals registered for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination at the Corona Center of the UZH, stratified by age (18-64 years, aged ≥65 years) and vaccine type, and invite them for study participation according to a predefined protocol. We aim to collect blood samples from a total of 800 individuals at six time points (baseline and 3-4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after baseline). The objectives are as follows.
1. Characterize the presence, dynamics and persistence of antibodies produced in response to the different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines over time.
2. Assess the presence and durability of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses, as well as antigen specificity and phenotype in response to the different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines over time.
3. Assess the relationship between antibody and T cell immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 induced by different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
4. Evaluate the occurrence and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections among individuals who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
5. Evaluate the occurrence and severity of adverse effects among individuals who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
6. Compare the humoral and cellular immune response between individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection and those who received a SARS-COV-2 vaccine.
7. Compare the humoral and cellular immune response to different SARS CoV-2 vaccines with immune responses to other common vaccines.
For further information, please contact the study team via phone (+41 44 635 38 38) or e-mail zhcorona-impfstudie AT ebpi.uzh.ch.