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

Fowokan, H. Samji, J. Puyat, N. Janjua, J. Wilton, J. Wong, T. Grennan, C. Chambers, A. Kroch, C. T. Costiniuk, C. L. Cooper, A. N. Burchell, A. Anis. Effectiveness of COVID 19 Vaccines in People Living with HIV in British Columbia and comparisons with a matched HIV-Negative Cohort: A Test Negative Design. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2022;194(45):E1529-E1536. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.11.035

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

A CITF-funded study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases showed that two doses of COVID-19 vaccine were effective at protecting against SARS-CoV-2 infections in people living with HIV (PLWH) during the pre-Omicron era. While protection was similar to that seen in people without HIV, antibody levels peaked slightly later and waned slightly faster in the PLWH cohort. This study was led by Dr. Aslam Anis (University of British Columbia).

Key findings:

  • Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against infection after the second dose was estimated to be 79.2% between seven- and 59-days post-vaccination in PLWH (compared to 91% in people without HIV). It rose to 91.6% between 60- and 89-days post-vaccination in PLWH (compared to 89.4% in people without HIV).
  • Vaccine-induced immunity began to wane between four and six months after vaccination in PLWH, but remained substantial with VE estimated at 72.7%.

Future work by this research group will evaluate the impact of Omicron and other variants on VE, as well as VE against severe outcomes among PLWH.

This study relies on the British Columbia COVID-19 Cohort, a surveillance platform that integrates COVID-19-related and other general administrative data. Included in the study are all adults in the province over the age of 19 who had been diagnosed with HIV and had access to healthcare services as of December, 2020 who also underwent SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing between December 2020 and November 2021. Each person with HIV included in the study was matched to an individual without HIV based on age, sex, community health service area, and SARS-CoV-2 outcome status. The study period coincided with the initial vaccine rollout in BC and precedes the detection of the first case of Omicron in the province.

Vaccine effectiveness was estimated using computer modelling. Individuals who received more than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine were excluded from this analysis.