Study finds 40% of severe COVID infections following double jabs are immocompromised
pharmafile | July 14, 2021 | News story | |
An Israeli study looking at those who have contracted COVID following double vaccination with the Pfizer jab, has found that 40% that fell seriously ill or died were immocompromised.
The research was published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection and used a subset of hospitalised patients to characterise those who were vaccinated but still had breakthrough COVID-19 infection, and also to define principal risk factors linked to poor outcomes in this group.
From a total of 152 patients included in the study, poor outcome was observed in 38 of them and mortality rate reached 22%. The clinical profile of these individuals resembled other COVID-19 hospitalised patients, meaning they were primarily older men with a plethora of comorbidities associated with COVID-19 severity.
Comorbidities were more frequent in patients with vaccine breakthrough infections in comparison to a large case series on unvaccinated hospitalised patients – including hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, chronic kidney diseases, chronic lung diseases, dementia, and cancer.
Higher SARS-CoV-2 viral load was linked to a substantially higher risk of poor outcome, which was also increased (albeit not significantly) in patients receiving a specific treatment regimen with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, as well as in patients with low titres of protective antibodies.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Health registry, by the end of April 2021 a total of 397 fully vaccinated patients were hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 after their second vaccine dose – with 234 of them suffering severe COVID-19 and 90 of them succumbing to the disease.
The authors of the study stated in the published report that “additional prospective longitudinal studies are urgently needed to identify predictors for vaccine breakthrough infection and simple correlates of vaccine protection, to enable identification of individuals at higher risk, who would require continued strict precautions, and possibly repeated active vaccination or other prophylactic measures, such as passive vaccination”.
The results of the study indicate that a small minority of individuals fully vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine might still contract a severe SARS-CoV-2 infection meaning there is still the need for in-patient care – despite the vaccine’s high effectiveness.