Background: Seroconversion and longevity of vaccine-induced immune response is blunted in immune-mediated inflammatory disease (IMID) patients owing to immunosuppressive regimens. COVID-19 booster vaccines after a primary series have been proposed with inconclusive evidence on efficacy to date. Methods: This PROSPERO-registered systematic review (CRD42022302534) was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, EMBASE, CENTRAL, Web of Science, CORD-19, WHO ICTRP, and medRxiv were searched up to 28 February 2022 for eligible studies. Risk of bias was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. Results: From 6647 records, 17 prospective studies were included for systematic review and 12 in meta-analysis of primary series non-responders. The risk of bias was low. Pooling 340 non-responders, a booster dose proved effective with 0.47 seroconverting (95% CI: 0.32–0.63, I2 = 82%). Rituximab therapy was associated with significant impairment, with risks of 0.25 (95% CI: 0.17–0.36, I2 = 50.7%) versus 0.81 (95% CI: 0.72–0.87, I2 = 0.0%) for those without rituximab therapy. A systematic review of antibody levels against COVID-19 showed several-fold increases across studies. Incidence of local and systemic adverse events, including disease flares, were either comparable or slightly increased after the booster dose compared to primary series. No major events such as myocarditis or death were reported. Conclusion: Our results show that booster doses are effective in eliciting seroconversion in non-responders, bolstering immunity to COVID-19. It has also not been associated with major adverse events.

  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Adolescents
  • Safety
  • Efficacy/effectiveness
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • COVID-19