As part of our continuing efforts to keep our members informed about developments in the study of COVID vaccine effectiveness, your Public Policy committee is sharing information about a recent report issued by Johns Hopkins as part of its ongoing research on the vaccines for transplant recipients. This published report studied a small group of transplant recipients who received a third dose of COVID vaccine. This report is very preliminary and it cannot be stressed enough that all transplant recipients, caregivers, and family should continue with the safe social practices that have been necessary since the beginning of the pandemic: maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, maintaining personal hygiene, and being aware of surroundings.
There were 30 patients in this study: 6 patients had positive antibodies after the 2 shot regimen of Moderna or Pfizer, and 24 had no antibodies after the 2 shot regimen. After the third shot was given, the 6 who started positive went to high positive, 6 of the 24 who started negative went to high positive, 2 of the 24 went to low positive and the rest of the 24 stayed negative.
There are several major points to emphasize with this report for our community:
-This is not a formal study with significant sample size. In fact, the report emphasizes that more rigorous study is necessary.
-As in the previous studies from Johns Hopkins, there is no information about all of the components of the immune system, namely T cells and B cells. Likewise, there is no discussion of links between particular immunosuppression regimes and vaccine response.
-The patients in the study received different transplants but the large majority were kidney recipients
All of these factors emphasize the need for further study. We will be sharing further information about this Johns Hopkins study as it becomes available as well as information from other studies which are underway at other institutions regarding 3rd vaccine doses and transplant recipients. Our purpose is to provide ongoing information, not medical advice. As always please be sure to check with your transplant team before making any change or addition to your COVID medication and vaccine course of treatment.
And repeating from our June articles:
TRIO endorses the American Society of Transplantation expert recommendations that you can find at: