New Delhi: Although two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine confer 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, according to a study.
This is a follow-up study to an earlier one in which the researchers reported that only 17 per cent of the participating transplant recipients produced sufficient antibodies after just one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimen.
“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,” said study lead author Brian Boyarsky from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.
“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.
The researchers noted that people who receive solid organ transplants, such as hearts, lungs, and kidneys, often must take drugs to suppress their immune systems and prevent rejection.
Such regimens may interfere with a transplant recipient’s ability to make antibodies to foreign substances, including the protective ones produced in response to vaccines, they said.
“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,” said study co-author Dorry Segev, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
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