Correlation between Adverse Events and Antibody Titers among Healthcare Workers Vaccinated with BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine

Itzchak Levy, Einav Gal Levin, Liraz Olmer, Gili Regev-Yochay, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Anat Wieder-Finesod, Victoria Indenbaum, Karin Herzog, Ram Doolman, Keren Asraf, Rebecca Halperin, Yaniv Lustig, Galia Rahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: The BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine has been found to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 but is associated with increased reactogenicity. We aimed to examine the correlation between immunogenicity and reactogenicity of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Methods: Subjects without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that participated in active surveillance after being vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine were included. Study participants reported adverse drug reactions (ADRs) through questionnaires administered by text message after receiving each dose of the vaccine. A reactogenicity score was developed based on the type and duration of ADRs. In addition, anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) levels and neutralization assays were performed 7–21 and 7–38 days after the first and second vaccine doses, respectively. Associations between ADRs and antibody levels were assessed by Spearman correlations. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with ADRs. Results: A total of 831 health care workers were included. The mean age was 46.5 years (SD = 11.8) and 75.5% were females. 83.4% and 83.3% had at least one local ADR after the first and second doses, respectively. 33% and 83.2% had at least one systemic ADR after the first and second doses, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found a significant correlation between ADR score and anti-RBD-IgG titers (r = 0.366; p < 0.0001) after adjustment for age, gender, and days after the second vaccination. High anti-RBD-IgG levels, being younger than 55 and being female, were all correlated with increased rates of ADRs. Conclusion: BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine reactogenicity appears to be correlated with higher post-vaccination antibody levels and is independently associated with younger age and female gender.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1220
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • BNT162b2
  • COVID-19
  • immunogenicity
  • reactogenicity
  • vaccination


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