Skip to main content

14-02-2022 | COVID-19 | News

News in brief

Most RMD patients retain antibodies 6 months after COVID-19 vaccination

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Among people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 decrease in the 6-month period following two doses of messenger (m)RNA vaccines, but remain above the threshold of predicted neutralizing ability in the majority of patients, research suggests.

In the study of 326 people with RMDs – most commonly inflammatory arthritis (43%) or overlap tissue disease (25%) – the median titer of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was 1175 units/mL at approximately 1 month after their second dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) vaccine. This decreased to 647.5 units/mL at 3 months and 419 units/mL at 6 months.

Despite this drop in antibody levels, 96% of participants had positive anti-spike titers (≥0.8 units/mL) at 6 months, while 80% had a high-positive response (≥50 units/mL), defined on the basis of neutralizing capacity determined in people with convalescent COVID-19 and in a previous modeling study.

Julie Paik and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, say that the proportion of patients with a high-positive antibody response at 6 months was greater among those given the Moderna versus the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine (89 vs 72%), as well as in those taking monotherapy versus combination therapy (94 vs 71%).

The study findings are published as a comment in The Lancet Rheumatology.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

14 February 2022: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Lancet Rheumatol 2022; doi:10.1016/S2665-9913(21)00417-3