3rd Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine Could Boost Organ Transplant Patients’ Protection – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Johns Hopkins study shows organ transplant patients receiving a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could improve their protection.
Gillian Ladd got a new kidney and pancreas three years ago. Therefore, the double organ recipient was particularly vigilant to protect herself in the pandemic.
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“I am already compromised and have already moved around the world much more cautiously,” said Ladd.
Transplant patients take drugs to suppress their immune systems to prevent rejection, which can affect their response to vaccines. Ladd received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when she could. Then came the disappointment.
“I hadn’t mounted any measurable antibodies,” she said.
Ladd participated in a study at Johns Hopkins Medicine that tracked 30 transplant patients who received a third dose of the vaccine. A third who had negative antibody levels after two doses had an increase after the third dose. All patients who had low antibody levels increased their immune responses after the booster.
“The real impact of our more preliminary results is a glimmer of hope that we can achieve an immune response in immunocompromised people,” said Dr. Dorry Segev, transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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Dr. Segev led the study. His previous research shows that half of transplant patients show no antibody response after two doses of the vaccine, and half have lower levels than people with normal immune systems.
“I’m pretty confident that for transplant patients we will find out how to protect them. This is not the time to celebrate the freedoms that come with the vaccine, ”said Dr. Segev.
Ladd is now positive for antibodies.
“My donor’s parents made such a gracious decision to give me a second chance in life. So nothing could stop me from getting the vaccine, ”she said.
Ladd said she was hopeful for the future.
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Researchers said there were risks of getting a third shot and it hasn’t been carefully studied. So it is something that they are watching very closely.