In August, I excitedly wrote about my (kidney recipient) adult son getting his booster shot, with important reminders for organ recipients. It was great news to get that third shot at protection because, like so many other people with suppressed immune systems, his body had not made any antibodies from the first two shots. His immune system, tamped down to coexist with his gifted kidney, didn’t react to the vaccine the way it does for people with strong immune systems.
So naturally he was realistic but still hopeful that the third one might do the trick. “Fingers crossed,” I wrote. He was told to wait a month or so before getting the spike protein antibody test to check, which he did recently.
Alas, though we were not surprised, our family was really disappointed to learn that his immune system hadn’t responded to the third one either. Fortunately, the body still has other ways, like memory T cells, to protect it from infections like COVID, but we have no way to know how much protection they’re providing.
So, until this is all over–and I know I’ve said this many times before–my son’s best hope of avoiding COVID and staying healthy is for everyone to get vaccinated and wear masks as needed! It’s not only for the protection of my son and other organ recipients, but for the millions of people with weakened immune systems from HIV, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and certain treatments.
Don’t we all want this to be over as soon as possible? Doing our best to protect one another is really the only way.