Organ Transplant Recipients Vulnerable To Covid-19 Even After Vaccination: Study

It was noted by the researchers that people who go through solid organ transplants like, kidneys, hearts and lungs must take drugs to suppress their immune systems and prevent rejection.

According to a recent study, two doses of coronavirus vaccine provide some protection for people who have received solid organ transplant but it is still not enough to ensure them to dispense with masks, maintaining physical distancing and following other COVID protocols.

Earlier a study was conducted by the researchers who reported that only 17 per cent of the participating transplant recipients produced sufficient antibodies after one jab of a two dose Covid-19 vaccination regimen and this is a follow-up study for the same.

Study lead author Brian Boyarsky from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US said, “While there was an increase in those with detectable antibodies after the second shot, the number of transplant recipients in our second study whose antibody levels reached high enough levels to ward off infection was still well below than in people with healthy immune systems.”

“Based on our findings, we recommend that transplant recipients and other immunocompromised patients continue to practice strict Covid-19 safety precautions, even after vaccination,” Boyarsky said.

It was noted by the researchers that people who go through solid organ transplants like, kidneys, hearts and lungs must take drugs to suppress their immune systems and prevent rejection.

To make antibodies to foreign substances, including the protective ones produced in response to vaccines, the regimens like these may interfere with a transplant recipient’s ability said the researchers.

In a latest study published in the journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that assessed this immunogenic response following the second jab of either of the two mRNA vaccines that is made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech for 658 transplant recipients, none of whom had a prior diagnosis of Covid-19.

The two-dose regimen of the participants were completed between December 16, 2020, and March 13, 2021.

However, it was found by the researchers that only 98 of the 658 study participants that is 15 per cent had been detect the antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 at 21 days after the first vaccine dose.

In the March study this was comparable to the 17 percent that was reported earlier looking at the immune response after only one vaccine dose.

The researchers further said, following the second dose at 29 days, the number of participants with detectable antibodies increased to 357 out of 658 that is 54 per cent.

Around 301 out of 658 participants which is 46 per cent had no detectable antibody at all while 259 which is 39 per cent had only produced antibodies after the second shot after being administered with both the vaccine doses, they said.

It was also found by the researchers that the most likely to develop an antibody response were younger among all the participants who did not take immunosuppressive regimens including anti-metabolite drugs and received the Moderna vaccine.

They further said, these were similar to the associations seen in the March single-dose study.

The study co-author Dorry Segev, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,”Given these observations, transplant recipients should not assume that two vaccine doses guarantee sufficient immunity against SARS-CoV-2 any more than it did after just one dose.”

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