A single-oral bolus of 100,000 IU of cholecalciferol at hospital admission did not improve outcomes in the COVID-19 disease: the COVID-VIT-D-a randomised multicentre international clinical trial

BMC Med. 2022 Feb 18;20(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s12916-022-02290-8.


Background: Vitamin D status has been implicated in COVID-19 disease. The objective of the COVID-VIT-D trial was to investigate if an oral bolus of cholecalciferol (100,000 IU) administered at hospital admission influences the outcomes of moderate-severe COVID-19 disease. In the same cohort, the association between baseline serum calcidiol levels with the same outcomes was also analysed.

Methods: The COVID-VIT-D is a multicentre, international, randomised, open label, clinical trial conducted throughout 1 year. Patients older than 18 years with moderate-severe COVID-19 disease requiring hospitalisation were included. At admission, patients were randomised 1:1 to receive a single oral bolus of cholecalciferol (n=274) or nothing (n=269). Patients were followed from admission to discharge or death. Length of hospitalisation, admission to intensive care unit (ICU) and mortality were assessed.

Results: In the randomised trial, comorbidities, biomarkers, symptoms and drugs used did not differ between groups. Median serum calcidiol in the cholecalciferol and control groups were 17.0 vs. 16.1 ng/mL at admission and 29.0 vs. 16.4 ng/mL at discharge, respectively. The median length of hospitalisation (10.0 [95%CI 9.0-10.5] vs. 9.5 [95%CI 9.0-10.5] days), admission to ICU (17.2% [95%CI 13.0-22.3] vs. 16.4% [95%CI 12.3-21.4]) and death rate (8.0% [95%CI 5.2-12.1] vs. 5.6% [95%CI 3.3-9.2]) did not differ between the cholecalciferol and control group. In the cohort analyses, the highest serum calcidiol category at admission (>25ng/mL) was associated with lower percentage of pulmonary involvement and better outcomes.

Conclusions: The randomised clinical trial showed the administration of an oral bolus of 100,000 IU of cholecalciferol at hospital admission did not improve the outcomes of the COVID-19 disease. A cohort analysis showed that serum calcidiol at hospital admission was associated with outcomes.

Trial registration: COVID-VIT-D trial was authorised by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health products (AEMPS) and registered in European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials (EudraCT 2020-002274-28) and in ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT04552951 ).

Keywords: COVID-19 disease; Cholecalciferol; SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04552951