Decline of Humoral Responses 6 Months after Vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) in Patients on Hemodialysis

This study analyzed binding and neutralizing antibody titers up to 6 months after standard vaccination with BNT162b2 (two doses of 30 µg each) in SARS-CoV-2 naïve patients (n = 59) on hemodialysis. Humoral vaccine responses were measured before and 6, 12, and 24 weeks after the first vaccination. A chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) was used to quantify SARS-CoV-2 IgG against the spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity was tested against the wild-type virus. A multivariable binary regression model was used to identify risk factors for the absence of humoral immune responses at 6 months. At week 6, vaccine-specific seroconversion was detected in 96.6% of all patients with median anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgGs of 918 BAU/mL. At weeks 12 and 24, seroconversion rates decreased to 91.5% and 79.7%, and corresponding median binding antibody titers declined to 298 BAU/mL and 89 BAU/mL, respectively. Neutralizing antibodies showed a decay from 79.6% at week 6 to 32.8% at week 24. The risk factor with the strongest association for vanishing immune responses was low serum albumin (p = 0.018). Regarding vaccine-specific humoral responses 6 months after the standard BNT162b2 vaccination schedule, SARS-CoV-2 naïve patients receiving hemodialysis must be considered at risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and being infectious.


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