Part 1 of 2
Special: COVID Vaccine Update
July 1st, 2021
TRIO's July E-News is being sent in two parts:

Part 1: TRIO's COVID Vaccination Update (this issue)
Part 2: General Monthly News (coming shortly)

continue checking e-mails over the next few days . . .
Information about COVID vaccines and effectiveness in
transplant patients
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:
Recommendations from the
American Society of Transplantation
TRIO offers the following summary guidance . . .
. . . in line with what is known today:

1. DO get vaccinated with any of the three approved vaccines as soon as possible, and make sure your caregivers and families get vaccinated to reduce your risk.

2. DO continue to practice the CDC recommendations of safe distancing, wearing masks, and washing regularly.

3. DO seek your transplant team’s advice, understanding that they too are receiving evolving results from studies, but they are staying on top of the latest findings and providing individualized advice for each of their patients as findings are released from ongoing research studies.
Here’s more of what we know now:

1. Research continues with daily news of new discoveries.

2. There are three parts of our immune system but to date, we have seen results only from the study of the antibody part of those three (therefore we have limited knowledge about the full extent of vaccine effectiveness in people who don’t develop high antibody levels after vaccination).

3. It is not known what level of antibody production is an effective level, so at this time experts are NOT recommending (despite some individuals speaking to the contrary) that patients get antibody testing.

4. At this time, experts are NOT recommending patients undergo a third vaccine shot (again, due to the unknown nature of the level of antibodies needed for protection and how the other two immune system parts play into this).
on behalf of the TRIO Public Policy team,
Rodger, Ira, Lorrinda and Monet

  • Jim Gleason
TRIO President
(609) 877-4493