BALTIMORE — A recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found only 54 percent of organ transplant recipients are protected from COVID-19 even after receiving two vaccine doses.
Researchers say those who've had procedures such as heart, lung and kidney transplants should remain wearing masks and following social distancing along with other safety measures.
So why is this the case?
Researchers believe the prescribed drugs transplant recipients often have to take to suppress their immune systems, may interfere with their ability to make antibodies to foreign substances, like what's in the COVID-19 vaccines.
None of the 658 transplant recipients who participated in the study had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19.
They completed their two-dose regimen between December 16, 2020 and March 13, 2021.
Only 98 of the 658 study participants (15 percent) had detectable antibodies 21 days after their first dose, while 357 (54%) developed antibodies 29 days following the second injection.
The study showed Moderna was more likely to develop an antibody response in younger participants who hadn't taken immunosuppressive regimens including anti-metabolite drugs.