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Antibody Response Lags After Second Vaccine Dose in Transplant Recipients

Last Updated: May 11, 2021.

TUESDAY, May 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Fifty-four percent of solid organ transplant recipients have an antibody response to two doses of an mRNA severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine, according to a research letter published online May 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Brian J. Boyarsky, M.D., Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues followed up with 658 transplant recipients without prior COVID-19 who completed the two-dose SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine series between Dec. 16, 2020, and March 13, 2021, through April 13, 2021.

The researchers found that antibody was detectable in 15 percent of participants at a mean of 21 days after dose 1 and in 54 percent of participants at a median of 29 days after dose 2. Median antibody levels after dose 2 were 2.14 U/mL and 1.23 arbitrary units among all participants. For those participants with an antibody response after dose 2, the median antibody levels were 142.1 U/mL and 6.48 arbitrary units; corresponding levels were 34.7 U/mL and 5.05 arbitrary units for those with no antibody response after dose 1 and >250 U/mL and 9.23 arbitrary units for those with antibody response after dose 1. Of the 473 participants receiving antimetabolites, 8, 57, and 35 percent had an antibody response after doses 1 and 2, no antibody response after dose 1 or dose 2, and no antibody response after dose 1 but a response after dose 2.

"These data suggest that a substantial proportion of transplant recipients likely remain at risk for COVID-19 after two doses of mRNA vaccine," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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