The National Institutes of Health has launched a study to study how people with immune disorders respond to Covid vaccines. People with autoimmune diseases were included in the study, such as lupus or celiac, and people on immunosuppressant medications, including those with HIV/AIDS and who’ve undergone a transplant. The US has thrown its weight behind vaccines hoping that it will provide a route out of the pandemic. Three companies Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, are available in the US.
As per last week’s data, more than a third of Americans are vaccinated, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention said. In most cases, fully vaccinated people no need to wear masks and maintain physical distance. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
But questions remain for people with immune disorders who were excluded from the Covid vaccine clinical trial. As with pregnant women, the immunocompromised are not included in US clinical trials because of the risk of adverse events if there were safety issues with the medication being developed.
In a recent study, researchers explained how organ transplant recipients taking antimetabolites (an immunosuppressant drug) responded to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine compared to patients who did not take antimetabolites. 473 participants were taking the immunosuppressant, out of which only 35% after the 2nd dose generated antibody response. Meanwhile, out of the 185 patients, 50% not taking the immunosuppressant after 2nd dose had an antibody response.
“I am quite disappointed that a significant amount of transplant patients did not get a reasonable response from both doses of the vaccine,” Dr. Dorry Segev, study author and professor of surgery and associate vice chair for research at Johns Hopkins University, told NBC.
According to two studies that have to be reviewed by an independent scientist, people taking immunosuppressants for inflammatory disorder and blood cancers generate antibodies after receiving the Covid vaccine compared to people without an immune disorder.