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      Humoral Response to the Third Dose of BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccine among Hemodialysis Patients


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          Hemodialysis patients are at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Despite a high early seropositivity rate, dialysis patients mount a dampened immune response following two doses of an mRNA vaccine. This study aimed to evaluate the serologic response to a booster dose of BNT162b2 vaccine, 6 months after the second dose, among hemodialysis patients.


          This prospective study included 80 hemodialysis patients and 56 healthcare workers serving as controls. Serologic samples were evaluated before and ∼3 weeks after the third vaccine dose. The primary outcomes were the seropositivity rate and the log-transformed anti-SARS-COV-2 S1 (RBD) IgG as a continuous variable after the third dose. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of participants with “high response,” defined as antibody levels >1,000 AU/mL, and “robust response,” defined as antibody levels >4,160 AU/mL, according to prespecified cutoff values associated with neutralizing antibodies. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify predictors of antibody response.


          Among 80 hemodialysis patients, seropositivity rates improved from 78% (62/80) before the third dose, up to 96% (77/80) after the booster dose. The S1-RBD log-transformed antibody level increased significantly following the third dose from 2.15 ± 0.75 to 3.99 ± 0.83 compared with 2.65 ± 0.4 to 4.31 ± 0.42 in the control group. Among the hemodialysis patients, 88% (70/80) became “high responders” (>1,000 AU/mL), and of these, 79% (63/80) mounted a “robust response” (>4,160 AU/mL). Baseline antibody level, dialysis therapy, and hypoalbuminemia were independent predictors of impaired antibody response.


          A third dose of BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine, 6 months after the standard two-dose vaccination regimen, substantially improved humoral response in hemodialysis patients.

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          Waning Immune Humoral Response to BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine over 6 Months

          Background Despite high vaccine coverage and effectiveness, the incidence of symptomatic infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been increasing in Israel. Whether the increasing incidence of infection is due to waning immunity after the receipt of two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine is unclear. Methods We conducted a 6-month longitudinal prospective study involving vaccinated health care workers who were tested monthly for the presence of anti-spike IgG and neutralizing antibodies. Linear mixed models were used to assess the dynamics of antibody levels and to determine predictors of antibody levels at 6 months. Results The study included 4868 participants, with 3808 being included in the linear mixed-model analyses. The level of IgG antibodies decreased at a consistent rate, whereas the neutralizing antibody level decreased rapidly for the first 3 months with a relatively slow decrease thereafter. Although IgG antibody levels were highly correlated with neutralizing antibody titers (Spearman’s rank correlation between 0.68 and 0.75), the regression relationship between the IgG and neutralizing antibody levels depended on the time since receipt of the second vaccine dose. Six months after receipt of the second dose, neutralizing antibody titers were substantially lower among men than among women (ratio of means, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.75), lower among persons 65 years of age or older than among those 18 to less than 45 years of age (ratio of means, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.70), and lower among participants with immunosuppression than among those without immunosuppression (ratio of means, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.46). Conclusions Six months after receipt of the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, humoral response was substantially decreased, especially among men, among persons 65 years of age or older, and among persons with immunosuppression.
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            Protection of BNT162b2 Vaccine Booster against Covid-19 in Israel

            Background On July 30, 2021, the administration of a third (booster) dose of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech) was approved in Israel for persons who were 60 years of age or older and who had received a second dose of vaccine at least 5 months earlier. Data are needed regarding the effect of the booster dose on the rate of confirmed coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) and the rate of severe illness. Methods We extracted data for the period from July 30 through August 31, 2021, from the Israeli Ministry of Health database regarding 1,137,804 persons who were 60 years of age or older and had been fully vaccinated (i.e., had received two doses of BNT162b2) at least 5 months earlier. In the primary analysis, we compared the rate of confirmed Covid-19 and the rate of severe illness between those who had received a booster injection at least 12 days earlier (booster group) and those who had not received a booster injection (nonbooster group). In a secondary analysis, we evaluated the rate of infection 4 to 6 days after the booster dose as compared with the rate at least 12 days after the booster. In all the analyses, we used Poisson regression after adjusting for possible confounding factors. Results At least 12 days after the booster dose, the rate of confirmed infection was lower in the booster group than in the nonbooster group by a factor of 11.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.4 to 12.3); the rate of severe illness was lower by a factor of 19.5 (95% CI, 12.9 to 29.5). In a secondary analysis, the rate of confirmed infection at least 12 days after vaccination was lower than the rate after 4 to 6 days by a factor of 5.4 (95% CI, 4.8 to 6.1). Conclusions In this study involving participants who were 60 years of age or older and had received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine at least 5 months earlier, we found that the rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were substantially lower among those who received a booster (third) dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine.
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              Antibody responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2

              In a cohort of BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) mRNA vaccine recipients ( n  = 1,090), we observed that spike-specific IgG antibody levels and ACE2 antibody binding inhibition responses elicited by a single vaccine dose in individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection ( n  = 35) were similar to those seen after two doses of vaccine in individuals without prior infection ( n  = 228). Post-vaccine symptoms were more prominent for those with prior infection after the first dose, but symptomology was similar between groups after the second dose. Virus-specific antibody levels after a single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine in individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 are similar to levels after two doses of the vaccine in infection-naive individuals.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron. Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                27 July 2022
                27 July 2022
                : 1-8
                [1] aDepartment of Nephrology and Hypertension, Rabin Medical Center, Petah-Tikva, Israel
                [2] bSackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
                [3] cInternal Medicine B, Rabin Medical Center, Hasharon Hospital, Petah-Tikva, Israel
                Author notes
                Copyright © 2022 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

                : 23 February 2022
                : 3 June 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 29, Pages: 8
                No external funding.
                Clinical Practice: Research Article

                hemodialysis patients,covid-19 vaccine,third dose,antibody response


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