Most RMD patients have antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination
medwireNews: The majority of patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) develop detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after receiving their first dose of a messenger (m)RNA COVID-19 vaccine, US researchers report.
They caution, however, that the immune response may be compromised in patients taking certain lymphocyte-modulating treatment regimens.
These findings are based on an analysis of 123 patients with RMDs who were given their first dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) vaccine in January or February 2021. At a median of 22 days after vaccination, 74% of patients had detectable levels of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The 91 people with an antibody response were significantly younger than the 32 without, at a median of 46 versus 57 years.
Dorry Segev and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, say that almost all (94%) of the 17 patients on tumor necrosis factor inhibitor therapy had detectable antibodies, but the rates were lower among those taking rituximab (33% of six) or mycophenolate (27% of 11).
“[P]otential exploratory strategies to increase immunogenicity in this subgroup may involve adjustment in immunomodulatory therapy, dosage or timing around vaccination,” write Segev et al in a letter to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
They caution that their study was limited by small patient numbers, and stress that “these are data on the first-dose response to a two-dose series” of vaccines.
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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