Home > Rheumatology > ACR 2021 > Late-Breaking Abstracts > Vaccine booster improves immune response in patients treated with rituximab

Vaccine booster improves immune response in patients treated with rituximab

Presented By
Prof. Michael Bonelli, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Conference
ACR 2021
Patients treated with rituximab have shown a reduced immune response after COVID-19 infections in previous studies. Therefore, the efficacy of a booster vaccine was assessed in a clinical study. Either a cellular or humoral immune response was achieved in 94% of patients, independent of the type of vaccine. “B-cell depletion is an important treatment strategy in rheumatology,” said Prof. Michael Bonelli (Medical University of Vienna, Austria) [1]. Yet, it puts patients at risk for severe COVID-19. Previous data has shown higher rates and longer duration of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 infections in these patients [2]. In addition, higher rates of severe COVID-19 infections were associated with therapy with rituximab compared with patients treated with TNF inhibitors [3]. Moreover, a 4 times higher mortality risk has been reported in patients treated with rituximab [4]. “One of the questions we raise is whether this was due to an insufficient vaccination...


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