Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Introduction: Following the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, vaccination became the main strategy against disease severity and even death. Healthcare workers were considered high-risk for infection and, thus, were prioritised for vaccination.

Methods: A follow-up to a SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study among clinical and non-clinical HCWs at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, we assessed how vaccination influenced SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike IgG antibody responses and kinetics. Blood samples were drawn at two points spanning 6 to 18 months post-vaccination, and SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Almost all participants, 98% (961/981), received a second vaccine dose, and only 8.5% (83/981) received a third dose. SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG antibodies were detected in 100% (961/961) and 92.7% (707/762) of participants who received two vaccine doses, with the first and second post-vaccine test, respectively, and in 100% (83/83) and 91.4% (64/70) of those who received three vaccine doses at the first and second post-vaccine test, respectively. Seventy-six participants developed mild infections, not requiring hospitalisation even after receiving primary vaccination. Receiving three vaccine doses influenced the anti-spike S/Co at both the first (p<0.001) and second post-vaccination testing (p<0.001). Of those who tested SARS-CoV-2 positive, the anti-spike S/Co ratio was significantly higher than those who were seronegative at the first post-vaccine test (p = 0.001). Side effects were reported by almost half of those who received the first dose, 47.3% (464/981), 28.9% (278/961) and 25.3% (21/83) of those who received the second and third vaccine doses, respectively.

Conclusion: Following the second dose of primary vaccination, all participants had detectable anti-spike antibodies. The observed mild breakthrough infections may have been due to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Findings suggest that although protective antibodies are induced, vaccination protected against COVID-19 disease severity and not necessarily infection.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Plos one


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.