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Duration of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in people with HIV (PWH) following vaccination is unclear. In a sub-study of the phase 2/3 the COV002 trial (NCT04400838), 54 HIV positive male participants on antiretroviral therapy (undetectable viral loads, CD4+ T cells >350 cells/ul) received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) 4-6 weeks apart and were followed for 6 months. Responses to vaccination were determined by serology (IgG ELISA and MesoScale Discovery (MSD)), neutralisation, ACE-2 inhibition, gamma interferon ELISpot, activation-induced marker (AIM) assay and T cell proliferation. We show that 6 months after vaccination the majority of measurable immune responses were greater than pre-vaccination baseline, but with evidence of a decline in both humoral and cell mediated immunity. There was, however, no significant difference compared to a cohort of HIV-uninfected individuals vaccinated with the same regimen. Responses to the variants of concern were detectable, although were lower than wild type. Pre-existing cross-reactive T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike were associated with greater post-vaccine immunity and correlated with prior exposure to beta coronaviruses. These data support the on-going policy to vaccinate PWH against SARS-CoV-2, and underpin the need for long-term monitoring of responses after vaccination.

Original publication




Journal article


JCI Insight

Publication Date



AIDS/HIV, Adaptive immunity, COVID-19, Cellular immune response, T cells