According to the study, organ transplant patients experienced a decreased immune response after two doses of the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine.
Many cases of severe COVID-19 infection have also been described in these patients after completing vaccination. This prompted French health authorities to recommend a third dose of the vaccine.
Doctors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the Athens National University. The Kapodistrias – Theodora Psaltopoulou, Panos Malandrakis, Yiannis Danasis and Thanos Dimopoulos (Rector of EKPA) – summarized the data by presenting them.
“The group of patients included 78 people with kidney transplantation, 12 – liver, 8 – lungs or heart, 3 patients with pancreas transplanted.
The first two doses were given one month apart and the third one 61 days after the second.
The time between transplantation and vaccination was 97 +/- 8 months. Glucocorticoid-induced immunosuppression was recorded in 87% of patients, calcineurin inhibitors in 79% of patients, mycophenolic acid in 63%, mTOR inhibitors in 30%, and belatacept in 12% of patients. The antibody titer was 0% before the first dose, 4% before the second, 40% before the third, and 68% 4 weeks after the third dose.
Patients who did not have antibodies were older in age and had stronger immunosuppression. In addition, none of these patients developed COVID-19 infection after the third dose of the vaccine, and no serious side effects were observed.
These studies indicate the efficacy and safety of the third dose of Pfizer vaccine in a group of transplant patients. However, care must be taken in each case, due to the patient’s predisposition to serious illness.
It is possible that a similar three-dose strategy will be applied in the future to other categories of patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy, provided that the current clinical trials are positive.