Limited information is available on the effectiveness of the BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm, Beijing CNBG) vaccine, especially in the elderly, despite the fact that it is approved in more than 50 countries.
RBD-specific antibody titres, as a rapidly available and highly predictive surrogate marker, were measured after two doses of the BBIBP-CorV vaccine in 450 subjects. Results were analyzed in a multivariable model accounting for age, sex and time since the administration of the second dose of the vaccine.
Sex and time since the second dose had little association with the antibody titres. Age, however, was highly relevant: measurable antibody levels were present in about 90% of individuals below the age of 50, but antibody production after BBIBP-CorV vaccination was strongly reduced with increasing age. A large number of elderly subjects, reaching 25% at 60 years, and up to 50% at ages over 80, were found not to produce any protective antibody.
RBD-specific antibody titre, as a correlate of protection for COVID-19 disease susceptibility, should help to evaluate the effectiveness of the BBIBP-CorV vaccine. Results suggest that proper measures should be undertaken to prevent a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in BBIBP-CorV vaccinated but eventually unprotected elderly individuals.