COVID-19 vaccine less effective for transplant patients |

COVID-19 vaccine less effective for transplant patients

Updated: May 14, 2021 06:16 PM
Created: May 14, 2021 05:07 PM

(ABC 6 News) - When researchers began looking into the COVID vaccine, transplant patients were excluded from the study.

Now, we are learning more about how immunocompromised individuals could react when they get the vaccine - and it's not good news.

Researchers found that the vaccine does not work as well for them.

People who receive solid organ transplants (such as hearts, lungs, and kidneys) often must take drugs to suppress their immune systems and prevent rejection. 

Which in turn, may interfere with a transplant recipient’s ability to make antibodies to foreign substances, including the protective ones produced in response to vaccines.

A small study from Mayo Clinic researchers showed several patients who had been partially or fully vaccinated still got the virus, some were even admitted to the hospital.

Their infection side effects were almost like they never had the vaccine, to begin with.

"Across all the board, heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, all those patents that got vaccinated from all these organ groups and they all had the infection after being vaccinated," says Dr. Hani Wadei, Associate Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

In a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers show that although two doses of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID 19 — confers some protection for people who have received solid organ transplants, it’s still not enough to enable them to dispense with masks, physical distancing, and other safety measures.

Researchers are putting the vaccination success rate at roughly fifty percent for transplant patients.

But experts are still encouraging people to get the vaccine because it's the only protection currently available.

RELATED: Mayo Clinic researchers question effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for solid organ transplant patients

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