Covid-19: CoronaVac protection may be less in people with HIV – 11/20/2021

A study suggests that the protection of CoronaVac, a vaccine against covid-19, is lower among people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Therefore, the orientation for vaccination has to be maintained, including priority for booster doses in this group. However, the study did not analyze how the other vaccines that have been used in Brazil behave.

Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (FMUSP) compared the protection of CoronaVac in people infected with HIV and in those not infected. The study showed that, after receiving CoronaVac, a person without HIV is 3.21 more likely to develop antibodies against covid-19 than one not infected with this virus.

“It means that the response to the vaccine is slightly worse among people living with HIV. She [a vacina] it is very important, but its potency to generate a response is lower in people living with HIV, compared to those who do not have HIV”, said one of the authors of the study, professor at the Faculty of Medicine at USP Vivian Avelino-Silva.

Despite lower levels of protection, this does not mean that people with HIV should not be vaccinated. According to the professor, less protection reinforces that this is a priority group and that it may need greater reinforcement in the vaccination schedule.

“It’s the kind of situation that just clarifies for us that if there’s someone to prioritize, it would be people with HIV. This suggests that maybe people living with HIV need more reinforcement, earlier or in greater numbers, than people with HIV. people who don’t have HIV,” said Vivian.

The number of defense cells in the body, called CD4, may help explain the difficulty in producing defenses against the new coronavirus. People with HIV, but with a greater number of defense cells, are twice as likely (2.26 times more) to develop the antibodies than people in more advanced stages of HIV infection.

The study was published as a preprint, which is a kind of outline in which the work remains open for input from other scientists before definitive publication.

Sought by Agência Brasil, the Butantan Institute reported that two scientific studies published by researchers from Brazil and China showed that CoronaVac “is safe and capable of generating high levels of protection against SARS-CoV-2 in people infected with the HIV virus, cause of AIDS”. One such study is that of FMUSP, mentioned above.

“Four weeks after the second vaccine dose, the percentage of participants who were positive for SC and NAb neutralizing antibodies was high for both the HIV group and the control group. No serious adverse reactions were reported during the study, either among people with HIV or in non-immunosuppressed participants,” says the institute’s report.

Butantan adds, in the report, that researchers found differences in immunogenicity parameters among people with HIV, with the group with the weakest immune system having lower immunogenicity against the covid-19 virus when compared to those with the highest count of defense cells, after the application of two doses of the vaccine. “One possible approach is to use a booster vaccine dose or even give higher antigen titers per vaccine dose,” the institute said of the researchers’ conclusion.