Immunocompromised individuals are at increased risk of COVID-19 breakthrough infection, hospitalization, and death in the post-vaccination era: A systematic review



Immunocompromised individuals have been shown to mount a reduced response to vaccination, resulting in reduced vaccine effectiveness in this cohort. Therefore, in the postvaccination era, immunocompromised individuals remain at high risk of breakthrough infection and COVID‐19 related hospitalization and death, which persist despite vaccination efforts. There has been a marked paucity of systematic reviews evaluating existing data describing the clinical measures of efficacy of COVID‐19 vaccination, specifically in immunocompromised populations. In particular, there is a scarcity of comprehensive evaluations exploring breakthrough infections and severe COVID‐19 in this patient population.


To address this gap, we conducted a systematic review which aimed to provide a summary of current clinical evidence of the effectiveness of COVID‐19 vaccination in the immunocompromised population. Using PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a literature search on PubMed and the Cochrane database published between January 1, 2021 to September 1, 2022.


Our findings demonstrated that despite vaccination, immunocompromised patients remained at high risk of new breakthrough COVID‐19 infection and severe COVID‐19 outcomes compared to the general population. We found increased average relative risk (RR) of breakthrough infections in the immunocompromised population, including patients with cancer (RR = 1.4), HIV (RR = 1.92), chronic kidney disease (RR = 2.26), immunodeficiency (RR = 2.55), and organ transplant recipients (RR = 6.94). These patients are also at greater risk for hospitalizations and death following COVID‐19 breakthrough infection. We found that the RR of hospitalization and death in Cancer patients was 1.08 and 2.82, respectively.


This demonstrated that vaccination does not offer an adequate level of protection in these groups, necessitating further measures such as Evusheld and further boosters.


Bytyci J, Ying Y, Lee LYW




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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