Infectious Disease

The COVID-19 booster dose improves protection for transplant recipients

August 12, 2021

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A third dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine significantly improved protection for transplant recipients, according to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The data comes from the very first randomized, placebo-controlled study of a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose in transplant recipients, according to a press release.

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“We knew from previous studies that two doses are not enough to induce a good immune response against COVID-19 in transplant patients.” Deepali Kumar, MD, The director of transplant infectious diseases at the University Health Network’s Ajmera Transplant Center in Toronto said in the press release. “Based on our study, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is definitely the best way to increase protection in transplant recipients.”

Kumar and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 120 organ transplant patients who had previously received two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. None of the patients included had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19. Half of the patients received a third dose of vaccine at random, while the other half received a placebo. The median age of the patients was 66.6 years and the median time between transplant and a third dose of vaccine was 3.16 years. The primary endpoint was an antibody response level of at least 100 U / ml against a spike protein of the virus at the 4th month.

The researchers reported that 55% of patients who received a third dose of the Moderna vaccine compared to 18% of patients who received placebo (p <0.001) saw an antibody response of at least 100 U / ml at month 4 became. In addition, 60% of the cohort developed neutralizing antibodies with the third dose compared to 25% of the placebo cohort (RR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.5-4).

The third dose also seemed safe, as no Grade 3 or 4 adverse events or cases of acute rejection were reported, according to the researchers.

“This is an important benefit for our patients because the results are quite conclusive.” Atul lobster, MD, medical director of the Ajmera Transplant Center and joint lead author of the clinical study, said in the press release. “The third dose was safe and well tolerated and should change the practice of giving third doses to this vulnerable population.”

References:

D. Kumar et al. N Engl J Med. 2021; doi: 10.1056 / NEJMc2111462.

News wise. The world’s first randomized clinical trial to boost COVID vaccines in transplant patients proves that the third vaccination is very effective. https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/world-first-covid-vaccine-booster-randomized-clinical-trial-in-transplant-patients-proves-third-shot-is-very-effective. Accessed August 12, 2021.

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