Quantitative analysis of mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccination response in immunocompromised adult hematology patients

Blood Adv. 2022 Mar 8;6(5):1537-1546. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006917.


Vaccination guidelines for patients treated for hematological diseases are typically conservative. Given their high risk for severe COVID-19, it is important to identify those patients that benefit from vaccination. We prospectively quantified serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to spike subunit 1 (S1) antigens during and after 2-dose mRNA-1273 (Spikevax/Moderna) vaccination in hematology patients. Obtaining S1 IgG ≥ 300 binding antibody units (BAUs)/mL was considered adequate as it represents the lower level of S1 IgG concentration obtained in healthy individuals, and it correlates with potent virus neutralization. Selected patients (n = 723) were severely immunocompromised owing to their disease or treatment thereof. Nevertheless, >50% of patients obtained S1 IgG ≥ 300 BAUs/mL after 2-dose mRNA-1273. All patients with sickle cell disease or chronic myeloid leukemia obtained adequate antibody concentrations. Around 70% of patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), multiple myeloma, or untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) obtained S1 IgG ≥ 300 BAUs/mL. Ruxolitinib or hypomethylating therapy but not high-dose chemotherapy blunted responses in myeloid malignancies. Responses in patients with lymphoma, patients with CLL on ibrutinib, and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell recipients were low. The minimal time interval after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) to reach adequate concentrations was <2 months for multiple myeloma, 8 months for lymphoma, and 4 to 6 months after allogeneic HCT. Serum IgG4, absolute B- and natural killer-cell number, and number of immunosuppressants predicted S1 IgG ≥ 300 BAUs/mL. Hematology patients on chemotherapy, shortly after HCT, or with cGVHD should not be precluded from vaccination. This trial was registered at Netherlands Trial Register as #NL9553.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Hematology*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273