Will COVID-19 vaccines work if I have a weak immune system?

CW39

(Getty Images)

LATEST VIDEO

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee arrested - Sharron Melton

Texas Star Grill Shop weekend grilling forecast - Star Harvey

Weather headlines for July 30, 2021 - Adam Krueger

110° Highest heat index across the region - Carrigan Chauvin

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC 6AM July 29, 2021

Tropics, August areas of origin - Adam Krueger

Bootleg fire footprint - Star Harvey

106° feels like temperatures today - Adam Krueger

Blame the humidity for sweating so much - Carrigan Chauvin

Backpack giveaway - Sharron Melton

7-Day forecast - Star Harvey

COVID updates - Border, federal, hospitals

Heat Index 105° July 29, 2021 - Carrigan Chauvin

Hour by hour forecast for July 29, 2021

Heat Index

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

Will COVID-19 vaccines work if I have a weak immune system?

Probably not as well as they do in healthy people, but the shots should offer some protection.

It’s why vaccinations are still recommended for people with immune systems weakened by disease or certain medications. It’s also important that your family, friends and caregivers get vaccinated, which will make it far less likely that they pass on the virus.

About 3% of U.S. adults have weakened immune systems. Among them are people with HIV or AIDS, transplant recipients, some cancer patients and people with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.

COVID-19 shots weren’t studied in large numbers of people with weak immune systems. But limited data and experience with flu and pneumonia vaccines suggest they won’t work as well as they do in others. That means people with weakened immune systems should keep taking precautions like wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.

“It’s prudent to use all the precautions you were using before you were vaccinated,” said Dr. Ajit Limaye, a transplant expert at University of Washington Medicine in Seattle.

Although most cancer patients should get vaccinated as soon as they can, people getting stem cell transplant or CAR T-cell therapy should wait at least three months after treatment to get vaccinated, according to guidance from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. That delay will make sure the vaccines work as well as they can.

For transplant recipients, researchers are looking at whether an extra dose might make the vaccines more effective.

French guidelines recommend a third COVID-19 dose for the immunocompromised, including organ recipients. Israel recently began giving an extra dose of the Pfizer vaccine to transplant patients and others with weak immune systems. Some U.S. transplant recipients seek out a third dose on their own in hopes of more protection even though the federal government hasn’t authorized extra vaccinations.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

Don't Miss