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      Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies following vaccination are associated with lymphocyte count and serum immunoglobulins in SLE


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          Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are known to have dysregulated immune responses and may have reduced response to vaccination against COVID-19 while being at risk of severe COVID-19 disease. The aim of this study was to identify whether vaccine responses were attenuated in SLE and to assess disease- and treatment-specific associations.


          Patients with SLE were matched by age, sex and ethnic background to healthcare worker healthy controls (HC). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein antibodies were measured at 4–8 weeks following the second COVID-19 vaccine dose (either BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) using a CE-marked combined ELISA detecting IgG, IgA and IgM (IgGAM). Antibody levels were considered as a continuous variable and in tertiles and compared between SLE patients and HC and associations with medication, disease activity and serological parameters were determined.


          Antibody levels were lower in 43 SLE patients compared to 40 HC ( p < 0.001). There was no association between antibody levels and medication, lupus disease activity, vaccine type or prior COVID infection. Higher serum IgA, but not IgG or IgM, was associated with being in a higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody level tertile (OR [95% CI] 1.820 [1.050, 3.156] p = 0.033). Similarly, higher lymphocyte count was also associated with being in a higher tertile of anti-SARS-CoV-2 (OR 3.330 [1.505, 7.366] p = 0.003)


          Patients with SLE have lower antibody levels following 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines compared to HC. In SLE lower lymphocyte counts and serum IgA levels are associated with lower antibody levels post vaccination, potentially identifying a subgroup of patients who may therefore be at increased risk of infection.

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          Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to 6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study

          Background Vaccine effectiveness studies have not differentiated the effect of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant and potential waning immunity in observed reductions in effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections. We aimed to evaluate overall and variant-specific effectiveness of BNT162b2 (tozinameran, Pfizer–BioNTech) against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions by time since vaccination among members of a large US health-care system. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we analysed electronic health records of individuals (≥12 years) who were members of the health-care organisation Kaiser Permanente Southern California (CA, USA), to assess BNT162b2 vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions for up to 6 months. Participants were required to have 1 year or more previous membership of the organisation. Outcomes comprised SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive tests and COVID-19-related hospital admissions. Effectiveness calculations were based on hazard ratios from adjusted Cox models. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT04848584. Findings Between Dec 14, 2020, and Aug 8, 2021, of 4 920 549 individuals assessed for eligibility, we included 3 436 957 (median age 45 years [IQR 29–61]; 1 799 395 [52·4%] female and 1 637 394 [47·6%] male). For fully vaccinated individuals, effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections was 73% (95% CI 72–74) and against COVID-19-related hospital admissions was 90% (89–92). Effectiveness against infections declined from 88% (95% CI 86–89) during the first month after full vaccination to 47% (43–51) after 5 months. Among sequenced infections, vaccine effectiveness against infections of the delta variant was high during the first month after full vaccination (93% [95% CI 85–97]) but declined to 53% [39–65] after 4 months. Effectiveness against other (non-delta) variants the first month after full vaccination was also high at 97% (95% CI 95–99), but waned to 67% (45–80) at 4–5 months. Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions for infections with the delta variant for all ages was high overall (93% [95% CI 84–96]) up to 6 months. Interpretation Our results provide support for high effectiveness of BNT162b2 against hospital admissions up until around 6 months after being fully vaccinated, even in the face of widespread dissemination of the delta variant. Reduction in vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections over time is probably primarily due to waning immunity with time rather than the delta variant escaping vaccine protection. Funding Pfizer.
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            Correlates of protection against symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection

            The global supply of COVID-19 vaccines remains limited. An understanding of the immune response that is predictive of protection could facilitate rapid licensure of new vaccines. Data from a randomized efficacy trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in the United Kingdom was analyzed to determine the antibody levels associated with protection against SARS-CoV-2. Binding and neutralizing antibodies at 28 days after the second dose were measured in infected and noninfected vaccine recipients. Higher levels of all immune markers were correlated with a reduced risk of symptomatic infection. A vaccine efficacy of 80% against symptomatic infection with majority Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was achieved with 264 (95% CI: 108, 806) binding antibody units (BAU)/ml: and 506 (95% CI: 135, not computed (beyond data range) (NC)) BAU/ml for anti-spike and anti-RBD antibodies, and 26 (95% CI: NC, NC) international unit (IU)/ml and 247 (95% CI: 101, NC) normalized neutralization titers (NF50) for pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization, respectively. Immune markers were not correlated with asymptomatic infections at the 5% significance level. These data can be used to bridge to new populations using validated assays, and allow extrapolation of efficacy estimates to new COVID-19 vaccines.
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              Immunogenicity and safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in adult patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases and in the general population: a multicentre study

              Introduction Vaccination represents a cornerstone in mastering the COVID-19 pandemic. Data on immunogenicity and safety of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD) are limited. Methods A multicentre observational study evaluated the immunogenicity and safety of the two-dose regimen BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in adult patients with AIIRD (n=686) compared with the general population (n=121). Serum IgG antibody levels against SARS-CoV-2 spike S1/S2 proteins were measured 2–6 weeks after the second vaccine dose. Seropositivity was defined as IgG ≥15 binding antibody units (BAU)/mL. Vaccination efficacy, safety, and disease activity were assessed within 6 weeks after the second vaccine dose. Results Following vaccination, the seropositivity rate and S1/S2 IgG levels were significantly lower among patients with AIIRD versus controls (86% (n=590) vs 100%, p<0.0001 and 132.9±91.7 vs 218.6±82.06 BAU/mL, p<0.0001, respectively). Risk factors for reduced immunogenicity included older age and treatment with glucocorticoids, rituximab, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and abatacept. Rituximab was the main cause of a seronegative response (39% seropositivity). There were no postvaccination symptomatic cases of COVID-19 among patients with AIIRD and one mild case in the control group. Major adverse events in patients with AIIRD included death (n=2) several weeks after the second vaccine dose, non-disseminated herpes zoster (n=6), uveitis (n=2), and pericarditis (n=1). Postvaccination disease activity remained stable in the majority of patients. Conclusion mRNA BNTb262 vaccine was immunogenic in the majority of patients with AIIRD, with an acceptable safety profile. Treatment with glucocorticoids, rituximab, MMF, and abatacept was associated with a significantly reduced BNT162b2-induced immunogenicity.

                Author and article information

                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                11 January 2023
                11 January 2023
                : 09612033231151603
                [1 ]Rheumatology Research Group, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Ringgold 1724, universityUniversity of Birmingham; , Birmingham, UK
                [2 ]Rheumatology Department, Ringgold 1731, universitySandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust; , Birmingham UK
                [3 ]Clinical Immunology Service, Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy, Ringgold 1724, universityUniversity of Birmingham; , Birmingham, UK
                Author notes
                [*]John A Reynolds, Rheumatology Research Group, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham Research Labs, 1st Floor Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, B15 2WB, UK. Email: j.a.reynolds.1@ 123456bham.ac.uk
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2023

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                : 29 July 2022
                : 20 November 2022
                Funded by: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/100011327;
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                systemic lupus erythematosus,covid-19,vaccine response,antibodies
                systemic lupus erythematosus, covid-19, vaccine response, antibodies


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