Introduction: Some hemodialysis patients are reluctant to undergo COVID-19 vaccination for the fear of developing adverse events (AEs). The aim of this study was to verify the safety of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of in-center hemodialysis patients who underwent mRNA-1273 vaccine from March 1st to April 30th, 2021. All AEs occurring after the first and the second doses were collected and classified as local or systemic.
Results: Overall, 126 patients on chronic maintenance dialysis without a prior COVID-19 diagnosis were vaccinated with two doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine. Mean age was 68 (IQR, 54,7-76) years and 53.6% of patients were aged ≥65 years. During the observational period of 68 (IQR, 66-70) days, AEs occurred in 57.9% and 61.9% of patients after the first dose and second dose, respectively. The most common AEs were: injection-site pain (61.9%), erythema (4.8%), itching (4.8%), swelling (16.7%), axillary swelling/tenderness (2.4%), fever (17.5%) headache (7.9%), fatigue (23.8%), myalgia (17.5%), arthralgia (12.7%), dyspnoea (2.4%), nausea/vomiting (7.1%), diarrhoea (5.6%), shivers (4%) and vertigo (1.6%). The rates of local AEs were similar after the first and second doses (P=0.8), whereas systemic AEs occurred more frequently after the second dose (P=0.001). Fever (P=0.03), fatigue (P=0.02) and nausea/vomiting (P=0.03) were significantly more frequent after the second dose of the vaccine. There were no age-related differences in the rate of AEs. Overall, vaccine-related AEs in hemodialysis patients seem to be lower than in the general population.
Conclusion: The RNA-1273 vaccine was associated with the development of transient AEs after the first and second doses in patients on chronic maintenance hemodialysis. They were mostly local, whereas systemic AEs were more prevalent after the second dose. Overall, all AEs lasted for a few days, without any apparent sequelae.
Keywords: COVID-19, mRNA-1273, safety, vaccine, hemodialysis, HD, side effects, SARS-COV-2