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Covid-19 Vaccine Not End of Pandemic for Weak Immune People

Dr. Robert Montgomery was motivated to get a COVID-19 Vaccine as quickly as possible for various reasons. His patients were among the most vulnerable to the disease as a transplant surgeon in a busy New York hospital. Transplant patients have suffered dramatically as a result of the pandemic. According to Montgomery, almost 20% of those infected died, with nearly 2,000 deaths in New York City alone last year, compared to one or two transplant patient deaths in a typical flu season.

He is a transplant recipient as well. His 61-year-old chest-pumping heart is not the one he was born with. Montgomery’s disappointment was compounded when his body failed to respond to his two-dose COVID-19 immunization. Many transplant patients are unable to produce protective antibodies because of the drugs used to prevent organ rejection. According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, only 17 percent of transplant recipients had antibodies after their first dosage of the COVID-19 Vaccine, with another 35 percent reacting after two shots.

Although COVID-19 immunizations provide excellent protection for most people, approximately 10 million Americans may not be adequately protected due to medicine or sickness. Michele Nadeem-Baker, who has chronic lymphocytic leukemia that’s out of remission, said, “This isn’t over for us.”

She had two doses of the Moderna Vaccine in March and April, but she is confident that she is immune to COVID-19. The pandemic still looks like it did during the worst of the outbreak for Nadeem-Baker, a patient at Dana-Farber in Boston: she always wears a mask, keeps her distances, and avoids groups. Researchers aren’t sure what constitutes a sufficient immune response or what amount of protection is required. They’ll have to find out what to do with folks like Montgomery and Nadeem-Baker, who aren’t protected once they figure out who is.

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