This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:

Yau K, Enilama O, Levin A, Romney MG, Singer J, Blake P, Perl J, Leis JA, Kozak R, Tsui H, Bolotin S, Tran V, Chan CT, Tam P, Dhruve M, Kandel C, Estrada-Codecido J, Brown T, Siwakoti A, Abe KT, Hu Q, Colwill K, Gingras A-C, Oliver MJ and Hladunewich MA. Determining the Longitudinal Serologic Response to COVID-19 Vaccination in the Chronic Kidney Disease Population: A Clinical Research Protocol. Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. March 2023. DOI: 10.1177/20543581231160511.

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

This paper, published in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease by CITF-funded researchers Drs. Matthew Oliver and Michelle Hladunewich (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), presents the protocol for a new study aimed at characterizing the strength and duration of immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines in people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Such findings are expected to be useful in devising vaccination guidelines for the 4 million Canadians living with CKD.

People living with CKD have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, facing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death. Continuous knowledge of their immune responses and levels of protection is needed to inform vaccination strategies for this vulnerable population.

Key messages:

  • Serological testing will be performed at multiple time points following the administration of each vaccine dose: at one, three, six, nine, and 12 months post vaccine, as well as prior to vaccination whenever possible.
  • Participants will remain in the study for at least one year following their last COVID-19 vaccine dose.
  • The study design is suited to being adapted to rapidly changing public health policies or emerging scientific evidence.

This prospective observational cohort study will follow up to 2500 patients in Ontario and British Columbia diagnosed with CKD, including those on dialysis and recipients of kidney transplants. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies (anti-spike, anti-receptor binding domain, and anti-nucleocapsid) will be detected by testing the serum or dried blood spots of all participants. Neutralizing antibodies will be assessed in only a subset. Cellular immunity will also be explored by collecting blood cells.

Note from CITF Secretariat: To learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people at higher risk due to other health conditions, you can refer to our international research review or our seminar on the topic.