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Patients on dialysis are at high risk for severe COVID-19 and associated morbidity and mortality. We examined the humoral response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in a maintenance dialysis population.
Single-center cohort study.
Setting and participants:
Adult maintenance dialysis patients at 3 outpatient dialysis units of a large academic center.
Participants were vaccinated with 2 doses of BNT162b2, 3 weeks apart. We assessed anti–SARS-CoV-2 spike antibodies (anti-S) ∼4–7 weeks after the second dose and evaluated risk factors associated with insufficient response. Definitions of antibody response are as follows: nonresponse (anti-S level, <50 AU/mL), low response (anti-S level, 50–839 AU/mL), and sufficient response (anti-S level, ≥840 AU/mL).
Among the 173 participants who received 2 vaccine doses, the median age was 60 years (range, 28–88), 53.2% were men, 85% were of Black race, 86% were on in-center hemodialysis and 14% were on peritoneal dialysis. Also, 7 participants (4%) had no response, 27 (15.6%) had a low response, and 139 (80.3%) had a sufficient antibody response. In multivariable analysis, factors significantly associated with insufficient antibody response included end-stage renal disease comorbidity index score ≥5 and absence of prior hepatitis B vaccination response.
Although most of our study participants seroconverted after 2 doses of BNT162b2, 20% of our cohort did not achieve sufficient humoral response. Our findings demonstrate the urgent need for a more effective vaccine strategy in this high-risk patient population and highlight the importance of ongoing preventative measures until protective immunity is achieved.
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