A new study aims to help vaccines work better in people who’ve had a transplant, Elizabeth Tracey reports


People who’ve gotten transplants such as kidneys take drugs to keep their immune system from attacking the organ, called immunosuppression, but also damp down their response to vaccinations, a big issue during the pandemic. Now a new study is examining whether these drugs can be paused safely to allow for effective immunization. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Segev: The fact that they take immunosuppression contributes dramatically to the fact that they can’t mount an immune response to the vaccines, so one of the questions is what if we hold their immunosuppression for a certain period of time, let their immune system kind of recover a little bit, give them the vaccine dose, hold it a little bit afterward to let the vaccine work, and then restart the immunosuppression and will that help. We don’t want to stop all of the immunosuppression cold turkey because they take immunosuppression for a reason.  :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.