Immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in dialysis

Eduardo Lacson, Christos P. Argyropoulos, Harold J. Manley, Gideon Aweh, Andrew I. Chin, Loay H. Salman, Caroline M. Hsu, Doug S. Johnson, Daniel E. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Patients receiving maintenance dialysis represent a high-risk, immune-compromised population with 15%–25% COVID-19 mortality rate who were unrepresented in clinical trials of mRNA vaccines. Methods All patients receiving maintenance dialysis who received two doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines with antibody test results drawn $14 days after the second dose, as documented in the electronic health record through March 18, 2021, were included. Response was on the basis of levels of Ig-G against the receptor binding domain of the S1 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 spike-antigen (seropositive $2 U/L) using an FDA-approved semiquantitative chemiluminescent assay (ADVIA Centaur XP/XPT COV2G). Results Among 186 patients on dialysis from 30 clinics in eight states tested 2368 days after receiving two vaccine doses, there were 165 (88.7%) responders with 70% at maximum titer. There was no significant difference between BNT162b2/ Pfizer (148 out of 168, 88.1%) and mRNA-1273/Moderna (17 out of 18, 94.4%), P50.42. All 38 patients with COVID-19 history were responders, with 97% at maximum titer. Among patients without COVID-19, 127 out of 148 (85.8%) were responders, comparable between BNT162b2/Pfizer (113 out of 133) and mRNA-1273/ Moderna (14 out of 15) vaccines (85.0% versus 93.3%, P50.38). Conclusions Most patients receiving maintenance dialysis responded after two doses of BNT162b2/Pfizer or mRNA-1273/Moderna vaccine, suggesting the short-term development of antispike antibody is good, giving hope that most of these patients who are vulnerable, once immunized, will be protected from COVID-19. Longer-term evaluation is needed to determine antibody titer durability and if booster dose(s) are warranted. Further research to evaluate the approach to patients without a serologic response is needed, including benefits of additional dose(s) or administration of alternate options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2735-2742
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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