Organ recipients are more vulnerable to covid-19

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. – A study published Monday found that immunosuppressed people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are much more likely to contract the virus and die from it compared to the general population that is vaccinated.

The study that appears in the journal Transplantation looked at infection, hospitalization, and death rates for 18,215 fully vaccinated organ transplant patients in the United States, Croatia, and France. Transplant patients take medications to suppress their immune systems so they don’t reject their new organs.

The study found that these fully vaccinated organ transplant recipients were 82 times more likely to contract an advanced COVID-19 infection compared to the vaccinated general population, and 485 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19.

Among the 18,215 transplant patients in the study, 151 had recurrent infections, 87 were hospitalized with COVID-19, and 14 died from the virus.

“This is a stark reminder that there are many vulnerable people around us who have not been able to achieve the same levels of protection as the rest of us and, as a result, are at much greater risk of becoming ill or dying from this terrible virus ”Said Dr. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medicine and lead author of the study.

According to an estimate by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9 million Americans are immunosuppressed, either from diseases they have or from medications they take.

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