We suspected—and, of course, feared–that my kidney recipient son’s two COVID vaccine doses hadn’t worked, as is the case for most immuno-compromised individuals. Then he had an anti-spike test, which specifically shows whether a person has developed antibodies in response to a COVID vaccine. His results were negative: he had no antibodies.
So we’ve been watching with even greater interest for news of developments on protections not only for him and other organ recipients–but for all immuno-compromised individuals, such as people with cancer or HIV.
A small, recent study of transplant recipients in France found that though only 4% of the participants had some level of antibodies four weeks after one shot of a (two-dose) COVID vaccine, 40% had antibodies after the second shot, and 68% after a third shot. For those who had no antibodies weeks after the second dose, such as in my son’s situation, 44% did after a third dose. That was encouraging news.
In fact, both France and Israel have started offering an extra shot to organ recipients and anyone with a weakened immune system. I was excited to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seriously considering doing the same here in the United States. They may be waiting for more studies before taking that step. The transplant community and the public need to urge the federal government to recognize the importance of these additional shots for organ recipients and other vulnerable individuals.
In the meantime, the CDC has just recommended that even fully vaccinated people go back to wearing masks indoors in some public spaces because of the delta variant’s increased potential to spread the virus. Makes sense to me. Wearing a mask isn’t the worst thing in the world.
For more information on this and related subjects (and to learn more about my upcoming book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation), please explore the blog archives and the rest of my website at kidneydonorhelp.com