- Title: Transplant patients among Americans eligible for third shot of COVID-19 vaccine
- Date: 14th August 2021
- Summary: SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 2, 2021) (REUTERS) AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN (EMT) EXTRACTING VACCINE WITH SYRINGE EMT ADMINISTERING VACCINE TO MAN EMT EXTRACTING VACCINE
- Embargoed: 28th August 2021 03:15
- Keywords: CDC COVID-19 booster coronavirus immunocompromised transplant patients vaccines
- Location: LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS + ROCKVILLE & BOWIE, MARYLAND + INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA + ATLANTA, GEORGIA + ARLINGTON, TEXAS + NEW YORK, NEW YORK + NORWOOD, MASSACHUSETTS + SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, UNTED STATES
- City: LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS + ROCKVILLE & BOWIE, MARYLAND + INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA + ATLANTA, GEORGIA + ARLINGTON, TEXAS + NEW YORK, NEW YORK + NORWOOD, MASSACHUSETTS + SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, UNTED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Health/Medicine,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA00CEQ47GP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The decision by U.S. regulators to authorize a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people with compromised immune systems should be good news for transplant patients like Sam Dey and Jerome Cummings, but both say they are cautious about the potential benefits of the so-called booster.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on Thursday (August 12), paving the way for people who have had an organ transplant, or those with a similar level of weakened immune system, to get an extra dose of the same shot they have initially received.
On Friday (August 13) an advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to recommend the additional shots, allowing immunocompromised individuals to begin receiving the shots immediately.
But Sam Dey, a heart transplant recipient in Maryland who is an advocate for the transplant community, says the benefits of the third shot remain to be seen.
Dey has been on immunosuppressants since his transplant six years ago in order to prevent his immune system from attacking the donor organ.
That means that, so far, like many other immunosuppressed individuals, the vaccine hasn't offered him protection from the still-raging pandemic.
"I have no choice, I am immunosuppressed and I have to live with this 'beast'. I call it the COVID Beast," Dey told Reuters on Friday. "Even though I'm fully vaccinated, I'm not producing a response."
There is growing concern about breakthrough infections in vulnerable populations in the United States as the country sees a huge spike in new infections from the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Dey, who will have to take immunosuppressants for the rest of his life, wants more information before deciding if he will take the third shot.
"It's still too early, I would say, personally speaking, to go ahead and run and get the third booster shot," he said. "It's a little concerning but in general it's a good thing, this approval."
Jerome Cummings had a double lung transplant in September 2020 after he developed a respiratory disease called hypersensitivity pneumatosis.
Cummings went through the trauma of both the disease and the transplant in the middle of the pandemic, and says he is extremely careful about taking precautions, such as masking, making sure those around him are vaccinated and making sure he stays away from crowds.
Like Sam Dey, he has a few questions for his doctor before signing up for another dose of the vaccine: "Whether or not it's something that's going to help my immune system or affect my immune system in any way. Would it be a good idea for me to take it?" Cummings told Reuters.
Immunocompromised individuals such as transplant recipients and some cancer patients, makes up less than 3% of U.S. adults, Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, had said before the authorization.
(Production: Julio-Cesar Chavez; Ashraf Fahim)
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