Use of adenovirus type-5 vectored vaccines: a cautionary tale

Summary: 
We are writing to express concern about the use of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vector for a COVID-19 phase 1 vaccine study,1 and subsequent advanced trials. Over a decade ago, we completed the Step and Phambili phase 2b studies that evaluated an Ad5 vectored HIV-1 vaccine administered in three immunisations for efficacy against HIV-1 acquisition.2,3 Both international studies found an increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition among vaccinated men.2,4
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CORRESPONDENCE| VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10260E68-E69, OCTOBER 31, 2020
Published:October 19, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32156-5
We are writing to express concern about the use of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vector for a COVID-19 phase 1 vaccine study,1 and subsequent advanced trials. Over a decade ago, we completed the Step and Phambili phase 2b studies that evaluated an Ad5 vectored HIV-1 vaccine administered in three immunisations for efficacy against HIV-1 acquisition.2,3 Both international studies found an increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition among vaccinated men.2,4