Does the COVID-19 vaccine work if my immune system is weak?
Probably not as healthy as a healthy person, but the shot should provide some protection.
That is why vaccination is still recommended for people whose immunity is weakened by illness or certain drugs. It is also important that family, friends and caregivers are vaccinated. This makes it much less likely that the virus will infect you.
About 3% of adults in the United States have a weakened immune system. These include patients with HIV or AIDS, transplant recipients, some cancer patients, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and patients with autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
COVID-19 shots have not been studied in many people with a weak immune system. However, limited data and experience with influenza and pneumonia vaccines suggests that they do not work as well as other vaccines. In other words, people with weakened immunity need to take preventive measures such as wearing masks and avoiding a large number of people.
Dr. Agit Rimaier, a transplant expert at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, said:
Most cancer patients should be vaccinated as soon as possible, but people receiving stem cell transplantation or CAR T cell therapy should wait at least 3 months after treatment to be vaccinated. guidance From the National Cancer Network. The delay ensures that the vaccine works as well as possible.
For transplant recipients, researchers Extra dose It may make the vaccine more effective.
French guidelines are Third dose of COVID-19 For immunodeficiency, including organ recipients. Israel recently launched an additional dose of Pfizer vaccine to transplant patients with weakened immune systems and others. Some US transplant recipients are seeking a third dose themselves, hoping for more protection, even if the federal government does not allow additional vaccinations.