Do the mRNA vaccines cause Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) with COVID-19 disease?

Question: 

Do the mRNA vaccines cause Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) with COVID-19 disease?

Answer: 

ADE is when a disease is made worse or more severe in a person who was already exposed to the virus through a previous infection or vaccination compared to people who were never exposed or vaccinated.

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) has not been identified as a concern related to SARS-CoV-2 infection or following COVID-19 vaccination. Here are reasons indicating why ADE will not be a concern:

  • First, most people have been infected with other coronaviruses in their lifetime, and ADE has not been identified as a result of these infections.
  • Second, in human studies, people previously infected with coronavirus were infected with different types of coronavirus, and they did not experience enhanced disease.
  • Third, experimental animals vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 did not develop enhanced disease when challenged, or infected, with the virus.
  • Finally, when people with COVID-19 received plasma containing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, they did not experience enhanced disease.

For these reasons, ADE is not expected to be a concern for SARS-CoV-2 infections or vaccination.
 

Date last reviewed: 
Friday, Jul 30, 2021