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COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Reduces Infections in Cirrhosis Patients

64.8 percent reduction in COVID-19 infections seen 28 days after receipt of first dose of mRNA vaccine

human liver

MONDAY, July 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Although the immune response is slow and the level of protection against infection is modest, mRNA vaccine reduces COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths in patients with cirrhosis, according to a study published online July 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

In a retrospective cohort study, Binu V. John, M.D., M.P.H., from the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami, and colleagues examined the association of receipt of the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA or Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccines in patients with cirrhosis compared with control patients at similar risk for infection and severe disease from COVID-19. A total of 20,037 patients with cirrhosis who received at least one dose of the vaccine were propensity-matched with 20,037 controls.

The researchers found that at days 0 to 7, 7 to 14, 14 to 21, and 21 to 28 after the first dose, the number of COVID-19 infections was similar in vaccine recipients and controls. Receipt of one dose of an mRNA vaccine was associated with a reduction of 64.8 percent in COVID-19 infection and 100 percent protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization or death after 28 days. Patients with decompensated versus compensated cirrhosis had a lower association for reduced COVID-19 infections after the first dose (50.3 versus 66.8 percent). Receipt of a second vaccine dose was associated with a 78.6 percent reduction in COVID-19 infections and a 100 percent reduction in hospitalization or death due to COVID-19 infection after seven days.

"These findings strengthen the hope that these vaccines may mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with cirrhosis in the Unites States," the authors write.

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