COVID: third vaccine works in immunosuppressed patients – Israeli hospital

On July 12, Israel began offering a booster vaccine for people with severely weakened immune systems. Among the eligible patients were organ transplant recipients. Research had shown that a significant percentage of them had not developed antibodies after the first two injections.

The Beilinson and Clalit researchers looked at how the immune systems of people who had received organ transplants responded. Those who had received heart, lung or kidney transplants developed antibodies at almost twice the rate after the booster injection, while the amount of antibodies for those who had received a liver transplant increased by about a third, they found.

Seventy-three percent of patients who had received the third vaccine developed antibodies, compared with 35% after the first two injections, according to Dr. Ruthi Rachmimov, director of the Beilinson Kidney Transplant Unit.

Among lung transplant recipients, 33% developed antibodies after the booster shot, compared with 18% after the first two injections.

For heart transplant recipients, the rates were 58% after the third injection and 31% after the second. For liver transplant recipients, 71% developed antibodies after the third injection, compared with 47% after the second injection.

The development of antibodies represents only part of the immune system’s defenses against disease, and the body can develop other forms of protection through so-called cellular memory. But recent research has indicated that there is a connection between the antibody count and the risk of catch.

“The data is clear proof that the third vaccine works,” Rachmimov said. “We see a significant improvement in response to the third vaccine in kidney transplant recipients. I recommend that all organ transplant recipients go and get vaccinated. “

Professor Mordechai Kramer, director of the Beilinson Division of Lung Diseases, and Dr. Marius Brown, director of the National Institute of Liver Diseases, said there have been no significant side effects.

“No significant side effects were seen in those who got vaccinated, other than local pain at the injection site in the few patients,” Kramer said. “There were no vaccine rejection events.”

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