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Immunogenicity and Safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in People Living with HIV-1
14 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2021More...
Background: The immunogenicity and safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) are unknown. We thus aimed to assess the immunogenicity and safety of this vaccine in PLWH.
Methods: In this prospective open study, we enrolled 143 PLWH, aged ³18 years, who attended our clinic. Patients who had recovered from COVID-19 were excluded. SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG and neutralizing antibodies were measured and compared to those in a cohort of vaccinated health care workers (HCWs). Adverse events, viral load and CD4 cell counts were monitored.
Findings: At a median of 15 (IQR 14-19) days following the first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine and 18 (IQR 14-21) days after the second dose, anti-RBD IgG was positive in 66/128 (51%) and 139/141 (98%) PLWH, respectively. Among the HCWs, 235/399 (59%) and 269/272 (99%) developed anti-RBD IgG at a median of 14 (IQR 14-14) and 26 (IQR 24-27) days after first and second doses, respectively. Following the second dose, immune sera neutralized SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus (psSARS-2) in 97% and 98% of PLWH and HCW, respectively. Vaccination was associated with adverse events in 60% of PLWH, mainly pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. AIDS-related adverse events were not reported. HIV viral load increased in 3/143 (2%) patients from < 40 copies/mL to ≤ 100 copies/mL. CD4+ T cell count decreased from a geometric mean of 700 (95% CI 648–757) cells/mm3 to 633.8 (95% CI 588–683) cells/mm 3 (P<0.01).
Interpretation: This study on BNT162b2 vaccination in PLWH revealed a high antibody response without detrimental effect on viral load. A small decline in CD4 cell count was noted, but it was not accompanied by clinical deterioration. This study thus provides support for the immunization of PLWH against COVID-19 with the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.
Funding Statement: None.
Declaration of Interests: None.
Ethics Approval Statement: Written informed consent was obtained from all participants and the study protocol and informed consent were approved by the Institutional review board of Sheba Medical Center.
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