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13-09-2021 | COVID-19 | News

News in brief

Better immune response with mRNA vs adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines in RMD patients

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Preliminary results from a US study suggest that messenger (m)RNA vaccines against COVID-19 may elicit a stronger immune response than the adenovirus-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Janssen (JNJ-78436735) vaccine among people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

The researchers found that RMD patients who received an mRNA vaccine (n=994) were significantly more likely to produce antibodies against the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein a median of 29 days after their second dose than those given the single-dose J&J vaccine (n=45), at rates of 92% versus 80%.

Median antibody titers were also significantly higher in the mRNA versus the J&J group (250.0 vs 9.7 units/mL), say Dorry Segev and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

The study was limited by small patient numbers and nonrandomized design, but these early results “suggest that patients with RMD who receive the J&J vaccine may have a more limited humoral response […] than recipients of the mRNA vaccine series,” write the study authors in a letter to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

They conclude: “Optimisation of J&J vaccine response in patients with RMD requires additional studies with larger sample size and evaluation of deeper immunophenotyping, including memory B cell and T cell responses.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

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Ann Rheum Dis 2021; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2021-221145