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25-06-2021 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Study supports importance of second COVID-19 vaccine dose in DMARD-treated RA patients

Author:
Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are more likely than healthy controls to require both doses of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in order to mount an adequate immune response, researchers report.

As outlined in a comment published in The Lancet Rheumatology, 53 RA patients receiving continuous DMARD treatment had significantly lower median titers of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein than 20 healthy controls at 3 weeks after the first dose (0.4 vs 99.2 U/mL) and 2 weeks after the second dose (657 vs 2500 U/mL) of the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) vaccine.

When a titer of more than 15 U/mL was applied as the cutoff for an adequate response, just 10% of RA patients met this threshold after the first dose, compared with 90% of controls, a significant difference. This difference remained significant when a more stringent cutoff was used, with 2% of RA patients and 45% of controls having titers higher than 133 U/mL after the first dose.

After the second dose, 88% of RA patients had antibody titers higher than 15 U/mL and 82% had titers above 133 U/mL, while all individuals in the control group had titers above the higher cutoff.

“These data suggest that the kinetics of the vaccine-induced humoral immune response differs between patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are taking DMARDs and healthy individuals,” and highlight “the importance of a second vaccination” in RA patients, conclude Andrea Rubbert-Roth (Kantonsspital St Gallen, Switzerland) and colleagues.

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

25 June 2021: 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 2021; doi: 10.1016/ S2665-9913(21)00186-7

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