People with hematologic malignancies are at a high risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. The response to vaccination is highly limited in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Less than half of the patients develop antibody response, suggesting that they remain at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection even after the vaccination. Reasons for inadequate response to COVID-19 vaccination in chronic lymphocytic leukemia are multifactorial and attributed to disease-related immune dysregulation and patient and therapy-related factors. The negative predictors of response to vaccination include hypogammaglobulinemia, advanced age, current active treatment, and past treatment anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies. Despite using booster doses and heterologous immunization to improve humoral and cellular immunity, some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia will fail to respond. Active treatment at the time of vaccination and a recent history of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies use are the strongest predictors of the non-response. Current data support informing patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other hematologic malignancies about the risk of infection regardless of vaccination. These individuals and members of their households should continue extreme preventive actions despite relaxed local regulations. Other emerging non-vaccine preventive strategies include passive and post-exposure prevention with monoclonal antibodies.
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