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11-08-2021 | COVID-19 | News

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COVID-19: Booster vaccines may warrant investigation in people on immunomodulatory therapy

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Among people with immune-mediated diseases, COVID-19 vaccines have greater immunogenicity following the second compared with the first dose, and individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection have robust antibody responses, research suggests.

Maria Prendecki (Imperial College London, UK) and colleagues evaluated immune responses to the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) and Oxford–AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019) vaccines in a total of 140 individuals with immune-mediated diseases, most commonly anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis or anti-glomerular basement membrane disease. Seroconversion data were available for 119 SARS-CoV-2 infection-naïve individuals after the first dose, and 91 people after the second dose.

In all, 28.6% of participants had detectable immunoglobulin G antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein after the first vaccine dose, increasing to 59.3% after the second dose. A similar pattern of results was observed with cell-mediated immunity, with detectable T-cell responses seen in 26.0% and 82.6% after the first and second doses, respectively.

“Reassuringly, only 8.7% of infection-naïve patients had neither antibody nor T-cell responses detected following second-dose vaccine,” write Prendecki and team in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Of note, all 19 individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection had “robust serological responses” following the first vaccine dose, irrespective of immunotherapy use, they add.

Together, these findings suggest that “[a]dministration of additional vaccine (‘booster’) doses may be a potential strategy for serological non-responders,” conclude the researchers.

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-2021-220626