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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 20191,2 and is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic3. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure and are urgently needed to control the pandemic4. Here we show that the adenovirus-vector-based vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which encodes the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is immunogenic in mice and elicites a robust humoral and cell-mediated response. This response was predominantly mediated by type-1 T helper cells, as demonstrated by the profiling of the IgG subclass and the expression of cytokines. Vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (using either a prime-only or a prime-boost regimen) induced a balanced humoral and cellular immune response of type-1 and type-2 T helper cells in rhesus macaques. We observed a significantly reduced viral load in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lower respiratory tract tissue of vaccinated rhesus macaques that were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 compared with control animals, and no pneumonia was observed in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2-infected animals. However, there was no difference in nasal shedding between vaccinated and control SARS-CoV-2-infected macaques. Notably, we found no evidence of immune-enhanced disease after viral challenge in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2-infected animals. The safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profiles of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against symptomatic PCR-positive COVID-19 disease will now be assessed in randomized controlled clinical trials in humans.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





578 - 582


Adenoviridae, Animals, Betacoronavirus, Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid, Coronavirus Infections, Cytokines, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Immunity, Cellular, Immunity, Humoral, Immunoglobulin G, Lung, Macaca mulatta, Male, Mice, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Viral, Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus, Th1 Cells, Vaccination, Viral Load, Viral Vaccines