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Background: Kidney disease is a key risk factor for COVID-19-related mortality and suboptimal vaccine response. Optimising vaccination strategies is essential to reduce the disease burden in this vulnerable population. We therefore compared the effectiveness of two- and three-dose schedules involving AZD1222 (AZ; ChAdOx1-S) and BNT162b2 (BNT) among people with kidney disease in England. Methods: With the approval of NHS England, we performed a retrospective cohort study among people with moderate-to-severe kidney disease. Using linked primary care and UK Renal Registry records in the OpenSAFELY-TPP platform, we identified adults with stage 3–5 chronic kidney disease, dialysis recipients, and kidney transplant recipients. We used Cox proportional hazards models to compare COVID-19-related outcomes and non-COVID-19 death after two-dose (AZ–AZ vs BNT–BNT) and three-dose (AZ–AZ–BNT vs BNT–BNT–BNT) schedules. Findings: After two doses, incidence during the Delta wave was higher in AZ–AZ (n = 257,580) than BNT–BNT recipients (n = 169,205; adjusted hazard ratios [95% CIs] 1.43 [1.37–1.50], 1.59 [1.43–1.77], 1.44 [1.12–1.85], and 1.09 [1.02–1.17] for SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-related hospitalisation, COVID-19-related death, and non-COVID-19 death, respectively). Findings were consistent across disease subgroups, including dialysis and transplant recipients. After three doses, there was little evidence of differences between AZ–AZ–BNT (n = 220,330) and BNT–BNT–BNT recipients (n = 157,065) for any outcome during a period of Omicron dominance. Interpretation: Among individuals with moderate-to-severe kidney disease, two doses of BNT conferred stronger protection than AZ against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe disease. A subsequent BNT dose levelled the playing field, emphasising the value of heterologous RNA doses in vulnerable populations. Funding: National Core Studies, Wellcome Trust, MRC, and Health Data Research UK.

Original publication




Journal article


The Lancet Regional Health - Europe

Publication Date