Suppressed immune systems are more common than you may think, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Organ transplant recipients are on medicines to keep their immune response in check, and so are many others: people with so called autoimmune disease like lupus, or some people with asthma. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says these people are not able to respond well to Covid-19 vaccinations.

Segev: We have found the certain immunosuppressive agents are particularly inhibitory, but anybody who is on immunosuppressive drugs is at increased risk for a suboptimal vaccine response. This can extend to people well beyond just the transplant population. People with autoimmune diseases and all sorts of other conditions where they need to suppress the immune system to prevent to prevent flares, to prevent rejection.  :26

Segev says research is underway to determine if a strategy to enable effective vaccination in this very large population of people can be developed. In the meantime he advocates for a very conservative approach for people with these conditions to avoid infection. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.