COVID-19 Vaccines May Not Produce Sufficient Antibody Response in Immunocompromised Individuals

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An initial clinical trial conducted to determine the immunogenicity for two mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 excluded people who have received solid organ transplants and others such as those with autoimmune disorders or those who are immunocompromised. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have tried to analyze how people who are immunocompromised respond to their first dose of one of the two mRNA vaccines- Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Their results showed that only 17% produced detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The study evaluated the vaccine immunogenic response for 436 transplant recipients, none of whom had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 or tested positively for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

The median age was 55.9 years and 61% were women. Fifty-two percent were administered a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 48% received one shot of the Moderna vaccine. The median time since transplant for the participants was 6.2 years. At a median time of 20 days after the first dose of the vaccine, the researchers report that only 76 of the 436 participants (17%) had detectable antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The researchers also found that among the 76 transplant recipients, the most likely to develop an antibody response were those younger than age 60 who did not take anti-metabolites for immunosuppression and who received the Moderna vaccine.

Ref Link: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2021.4385