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Immunocompromised patients may need additional COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines not as effective in transplant patients, data shows
COVID-19 vaccines not as effective in transplant patients, data shows

WESTON, Fla. – Researchers are now investigating ways to maximize the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines in people who are immunocompromised.

Data has shown that the effectiveness of the vaccines in transplant patients is not as high as the general population.

That is raising interest in determining if this group, and other immunocompromised patients, may need more than the standard dosage.

“We are aware that needs to be investigated and there is some research undergoing that type of investigation like looking for the antibody response after having the two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or the one dose of Johnson and Johnson and we need to correlate that antibody response if they are completely safe, completely protected against the COVID infection,” said Dr. Christian Donato-Santana, an infectious disease specialist with Cleveland Clinic Weston.

In the interim, Donato-Santana said immunocompromised patients should continue to social distance and wear masks when out in public.

Cancer and COVID

A retrospective study showed that cancer patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 had improved rates of survival if they underwent convalescent plasma therapy.

Investigators obtained data from a special COVID and cancer consortium and found that patients who received convalescent plasma had a mortality rate of approximately 13% compared with a nearly 25% mortality rate for those who did not receive the therapy.

Because the study was nonrandomized, researchers said an appropriately designed clinical trial needs to be done to draw a definitive benefit of convalescent plasma for patients with blood cancers.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.