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Mar 25: UMC Utrecht investigates effects of corona vaccination in patients with immune disorders

Last week, a study was started at UMC Utrecht and six other academic medical centers in the Netherlands into the effects of vaccination against patients with a congenital or hereditary (primary) immune disorder. This so-called VACOPID study was initiated by Erasmus MC and UMC Utrecht and is funded with a grant from ZonMw. A total of 500 patients and 200 control subjects will be examined.

Pauline Ellerbroek, internist-infectiologist at UMC Utrecht: “The main objective of this study is to determine whether the production of antibodies against the coronavirus after a corona vaccination is just as good in patients with a congenital or hereditary immune deficiency as in healthy people. We also want to study the formation of immune cells after vaccination and the occurrence of side effects of the vaccination.”

More affected by COVID-19

It has now become clear that especially people with a weakened immune system, such as the elderly, have an increased risk of a serious course of corona. Patients with a congenital or hereditary immune deficiency also have a less effective or in some cases almost inoperative immune system. Pauline: “In the United Kingdom, research has been conducted into the consequences of corona in patients with a severe hereditary or congenital immune deficiency. These patients seem to be more affected by this virus. The corona vaccines are approved for use in the general population, but how well these vaccines work in patients with congenital or hereditary immune deficiency is not yet known. So that should be evident from this research”.

Determine immune response

Pauline: “Last week we started the study that will take a year. This week also starts the vaccination of the group of vulnerable patients, of which our target group is part of. The participants in the VACOPID study will be given the Moderna corona vaccine twice and blood will be taken at five points in time to determine the immune response. We also monitor whether patients still develop COVID-19, despite vaccination.”

The VACOPID study

The Vaccination Against Covid in Primary Immune Deficiencies (VACOPID) study investigates whether immunity against COVID-19 actually occurs in vulnerable patients with congenital immune disorders after vaccination. This project is made possible by ZonMw. The research is carried out by the seven Dutch academic hospitals, united in the Working Group on Immune Deficiencies (WID). After vaccination, blood is examined at a number of times to see whether protection against COVID-19 occurs in the immune system and whether this protection continues for a longer period of time.