18:56 PM

Kyriakos A. Kirou, MD, DSc, FACP: COVID-19 Vaccine Antibody Responses in Patients Treated With B-Cell Agents

Rheumatology Network reports on HSS study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2021 annual meeting by Kyriakos A. Kirou, MD, DSc, FACP, rheumatologist, finding the COVID-19 vaccine antibody response in patients treated with b-cell agents depends on b-cell counts at the time of the vaccine.

According to Dr. Kirou, “Patients with systemic rheumatic diseases are unable to achieve adequate immune responses to the COVID-19 vaccine primarily because of their treatments with immunosuppressive medications. Some of the medications are particularly strong in suppressing the immune system and therefore, responses to vaccines.”

“The study retrospectively looked at patients that had received one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and studied their IgG antibody responses to the spike protein of this SARS-CoV-2 virus by one of the commercial assays available,” he noted.

Regarding the study results, Dr. Kirou explained, “We found that patients treated with either rituximab and/or belimumab indeed had lower antibody responses to the vaccines. We were impressed by the finding that the lower the B-cells the more likely that the responses would be low.”

“We believe these results should help physicians treating patients with systemic rheumatic diseases, such as lupus, to optimize antibody responses of their patients to the vaccines,” he concluded.

Read the full article at Rheumatologynetwork.com.