COVID-19 Vaccine Effective for People With and Without HIV

Recent studies at Johns Hopkins University observed that vaccines create similar antibody and immune responses both in those who live with HIV and those who don’t. These studies have concluded that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines create a strong antibody response in people living with HIV due to the response being similar to the antibody and immune responses seen in those living without HIV.

Many have speculated that those living with HIV and taking ART drugs may not exhibit as robust a response. This concern was driven in part when priority for the vaccines was extended to include people living with HIV. At that time, the antibody production and immune response were not known. In the two studies, the immune response and antibody levels responses were assessed after each of the two doses given. The response in people living with HIV was greater than the response seen with people who were immune compromised. Antibody levels and immune responses must be sufficient and are critical in preventing serious COVID illness. Antibodies levels to the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants of COVID-19, were assayed. However, researchers did not examine the antibodies’ response to the Delta variant. Lastly, there was also no meaningful difference in the cellular immune response.

Scientists concluded that more research needs to be done on vaccine responses in those with various levels of CD4 cell counts, as an indicator of immune capability and in populations exposed to the Delta variant.


Preprint from the Journal of AIDS and Clinical Infectious Diseases.