SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Patients With Liver Disease and Liver Transplantation Who Received COVID-19 Vaccination.
Moon AM., Webb GJ., García-Juárez I., Kulkarni AV., Adali G., Wong DK., Lusina B., Dalekos GN., Masson S., Shore BM., Barnes E., Barritt AS., Marjot T.
Many safe and effective severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccinations dramatically reduce risks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications and deaths. We aimed to describe cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) and liver transplant (LT) recipients with at least one prior COVID-19 vaccine dose. The SECURE-Liver and COVID-Hep international reporting registries were used to identify laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in CLD and LT patients who received a COVID-19 vaccination. Of the 342 cases of lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections in the era after vaccine licensing, 40 patients (21 with CLD and 19 with LT) had at least one prior COVID-19 vaccination, including 12 who were fully vaccinated (≥2 weeks after second dose). Of the 21 patients with CLD (90% with cirrhosis), 7 (33%) were hospitalized, 1 (5%) was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and 0 died. In the LT cohort (n = 19), there were 6 hospitalizations (32%), including 3 (16%) resulting in mechanical ventilation and 2 (11%) resulting in death. All three cases of severe COVID-19 occurred in patients who had a single vaccine dose within the last 1-2 weeks. In contemporary patients with CLD, rates of symptomatic infection, hospitalization, ICU admission, invasive ventilation, and death were numerically higher in unvaccinated individuals. Conclusion: This case series demonstrates the potential for COVID-19 infections among patients with CLD and LT recipients who had received the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 appears to result in favorable outcomes as attested by the absence of mechanical ventilation, ICU, or death among fully vaccinated patients.