Immunogenicity of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in patients with inborn errors of immunity

David Hagin*, Tal Freund, Michal Navon, Tami Halperin, Dikla Adir, Rotem Marom, Inbar Levi, Shira Benor, Yifat Alcalay, Natalia T. Freund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In mid-December 2020, Israel started a nationwide mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the first few weeks, medical personnel, elderly citizens, and patients with chronic diseases were prioritized. As such, patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies were encouraged to receive the vaccine. Although the efficacy of RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines has been demonstrated in the general population, little is known about their efficacy and safety in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the humoral and cellular immune response to COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of patients with IEI. Methods: A total of 26 adult patients were enrolled, and plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from them 2 weeks following the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Humoral response was evaluated by testing anti–SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) receptor-binding domain and antinucleocapsid antibody titers and evaluating neutralizing ability by inhibition of receptor-binding domain–angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 binding. Cellular immune response was evaluated by using ELISpot, estimating IL-2 and IFN-γ secretion in response to pooled SARS-CoV-2 S- or M-peptides. Results: Our cohort included 18 patients with a predominantly antibody deficiency, 2 with combined immunodeficiency, 3 with immune dysregulation, and 3 with other genetically defined diagnoses. Twenty-two of them were receiving immunoglobulin replacement therapy. Of the 26 patients, 18 developed specific antibody response, and 19 showed S-peptide–specific T-cell response. None of the patients reported significant adverse events. Conclusion: Vaccinating patients with IEI is safe, and most patients were able to develop vaccine-specific antibody response, S-protein–specific cellular response, or both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-749
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • CVID
  • HIES
  • IEI
  • Inborn errors of immunity
  • NFKB1
  • PIDD
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • XLA
  • inhibiting antibodies
  • primary immunodeficiency disorders
  • vaccine


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