Third dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine appears to overcome vaccine hyporesponsiveness in patients with cirrhosis

Binu V. John, Raphaella D. Ferreira, Akash Doshi, David E. Kaplan, Tamar H. Taddei, Seth A. Spector, Elizabeth Paulus, Yangyang Deng, Dustin Bastaich, Bassam Dahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background & Aims: Cirrhosis is associated with immune dysregulation and hyporesponsiveness to several vaccines including those against COVID-19. Our aim was to compare outcomes between patients with cirrhosis who received 3 doses of either the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA or Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccines to a propensity-matched control group of patients at similar risk of infection who received 2 doses. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with cirrhosis who received 2 or 3 doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at the Veterans Health Administration. Participants who received 3 doses of the vaccine (n = 13,041) were propensity score matched with 13,041 controls who received 2 doses, and studied between July 18, 2021 and February 11, 2022, when B.1.617.2 (delta) and B.1.1.529 (omicron) were the predominant variants. Outcomes were aggregated as all cases with COVID-19, symptomatic COVD-19, with at least moderate COVID-19, or severe or critical COVID-19. Results: Receipt of the third dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine was associated with an 80.7% reduction in COVID-19 (95% CI 39.2-89.1, p <0.001), an 80.4% reduction in symptomatic COVID-19, an 80% reduction in moderate, severe or critical COVID-19, (95% CI 34.5-87.6%, p = 0.005), a 100% reduction in severe or critical COVID-19 (95% CI 99.2-100.0, p = 0.01), and a 100% reduction in COVID-19-related death (95% CI 99.8-100.0, p = 0.007). The magnitude of reduction in COVID-19 was greater with the third dose of BNT 162b2 than mRNA-1273 and among participants with compensated rather than decompensated cirrhosis. Conclusions: Administration of a third dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine was associated with a more significant reduction in COVID-19 in patients with cirrhosis than in the general population, suggesting that the third dose can overcome vaccine hyporesponsiveness in this population. Lay summary: Cirrhosis is associated with decreased responsiveness to several vaccines, including those against COVID-19. In this study of 26,082 participants with cirrhosis during the delta and omicron surge, receipt of the third dose of the vaccine was associated with an 80% reduction in COVID-19, a 100% reduction in severe/critical COVID-19, and a 100% reduction in COVID-19-related death. These findings support the importance of a third dose of mRNA vaccine among patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1358
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BNT162b2 mRNA
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • booster dose
  • chronic liver disease
  • hepatic decompensation
  • mRNA-1273

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