Humoral Response to SARS-CoV-2-Vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) in Patients on Hemodialysis

mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines offer a preventive strategy against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections that is of interest in the care of patients on hemodialysis (HDP). We measured humoral immune responses in 72 HDP after standard vaccination with two doses of the mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech). Antibody responses were evaluated with an anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG ChemiLuminescent ImmunoAssay (CLIA) two weeks after the second dose. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 IgG was determined in a control of 16 healthy healthcare workers (HCW). The control group of HCW has shown a strong antibody response with a median (MD (Q1; Q3)) antibody titer of 800.0 AU/mL (520.5; 800.0). In comparison to HCW, HDP under 60 years of age responded equally (597.0 AU/mL (410.5; 800.0), p = 0.051). However, the antibody responses of the HDP negatively correlated with age (r2 = 0.2954 p < 0.0001), leading to significantly lower antibody titers in HDP over 60 years (280.0 AU/mL (45.7; 477.0), p < 0.0001). To thoroughly understand the immunogenicity of the new mRNA-based vaccines in HDP, longitudinal data on the effectiveness and durability of antibody responses are needed. Modifications of immunization schedules should be considered in HDP with low or without antibody responsiveness after standard vaccination to boost immune reactivity and prolong protective effects in these vulnerable patients.

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