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COVID-19 Vaccines May Not Be Effective For Organ Transplant Patients, Research Suggests

Photo: Olga Kononenko

Preliminary research conducted by Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville suggests that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may not be effective for organ transplant recipients and others with compromised immune systems.

Transplant patients are given medicine that’s designed to suppress their immune systems to keep their bodies from rejecting their transplanted organs.

New research from Mayo Clinic suggests that medication is making the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines less effective, leaving transplant patients more vulnerable to infection.

Still, Dr. Sadia Shah, one of the researchers behind the study, says it’s critical for transplant patients to get vaccinated.

“For the patients who are unable to develop antibodies, we have means to help increase their chances of developing antibodies. We can do that by potentially decreasing their immunosuppression for a very short period of time and giving them a booster vaccine.”

Dr. Shah is leading a larger study that will look at all of Mayo Clinic’s transplant patients.

In the meantime, she says everyone should continue to follow protective measures, like social distancing, mask-wearing, and regular hand washing.

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