INTRODUCTION: Patients under renal replacement therapy are at an increased risk of severe infection with SARS-CoV-2, and have been known to have impaired response to standard vaccination. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims at evaluating the efficacy of booster dose vaccination in this population. METHODS: A systematic review has been conducted to find trials on the booster dose vaccination in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) or patients under dialysis. Data of seroconversion rates at different timepoints, especially 1 month prior and post-booster dose vaccination have been collected and analyzed. Effects of different factors including type of renal replacement therapy (RRT), vaccine type and brands, magnitude of response to the standard vaccination, and immunosuppression drugs on the response rates have been investigated. Meta-analyses were performed using software Stata v.17. RESULTS: Overall 58 studies were included. Both RRT patient subgroups represented significant seroconversion, post- (versus pre-) booster dose vaccination, but only in KTRs the booster dose seroconversion surpassed that of the standard protocol. T-cell response was also significantly augmented after booster vaccination, with no difference between the RRT subgroups. mRNA and vector vaccine types had comparable immunogenicity when employed as boosters, both significantly higher than the inactivated virus vaccine, with no significant disparity regarding the vaccine brands. Patients with poor response to standard vaccination had a significant response to booster dose, with dialysis patients having stronger response. The differential effects of vaccine types and brands in the poor responders was similar to that of the overall RRT population. No rejection episodes or graft failure post-booster vaccination was reported. CONCLUSION: In patients under RRT, booster dose vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is safe and efficacious determined by significant seroconversion, and therefore, it should be considered to be implemented in all these patients. Since in the KTR patients, the third dose vaccination significantly increased the seroconversion rates even beyond that of the standard protocol, three dose vaccine doses is recommended to be recognized as the standard vaccination protocol in this population. The same recommendation could be considered for dialysis patients, due to their augmented risk of breakthrough infection.

  • All age groups
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • COVID-19
  • Safety
  • Efficacy/effectiveness