Zoster Vaccine Is Effective After Kidney Transplant

The nonlive adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) is highly immunogenic in adults who have received a kidney transplant and who are on chronic immunosuppression, according to new findings from a study presented at IDWeek 2018. 


The study, authored by Peter Vink, MD, and colleagues, was presented on Saturday, October 6, at IDWeek 2018 in San Francisco. The researchers determined that RZV generated significant humoral and cell-mediated immunity that continued up to 12 months after the first vaccination.


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To reach this conclusion, the researchers administered 2 doses of RZV to 132 participants aged 18 years or older and administered a placebo to 132 participants. They measured gE-specific immune responses at 1 and 12 months after the second dose.


Of the 264 vaccination recipients, 240 (121 in the RZV group, 119 in the placebo group) were included in the according-to-protocol cohort for humoral immunogenicity, and 72 (36 in each group) were included in the according-to-protocol cohort for cell-mediated immunogenicity.


Humoral and cell-mediated immunity in participants who had received RZV continued through 12 months after the second dose was administered. Participants who received RZV had higher immune response rates than those who received the placebo. Immune responses were even stronger in younger adults.


“The magnitude of humoral immune response to RZV was not impacted by the number and type of chronic maintenance immunosuppressive therapies used,” the researchers wrote.


While the frequency of solicited general adverse events like myalgia and fever post-vaccination was more common in the RZV group than in the placebo group, no concerns regarding renal function were reported.


“No safety concerns associated with RZV use were identified over a 1-year follow-up in this immunosuppressed population,” the researchers concluded.


Colleen Murphy



Vink P, Torrell JMR, Sanchez-Fructuoso AI, et al. Twelve-month immunogenicity and safety of an adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine in immunosuppressed adults post renal transplant: a phase III randomized clinical trial. Poster presented at: IDWeek 2018; October 3-7, 2018; San Francisco, CA. Accessed October 24, 2018.