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Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Dose May Benefit Organ Transplant Patients: Study

The primary research was based upon antibody level greater than 100 U/ml against the increased protein of the virus.

The drugs are laboratory-made versions of virus-blocking antibodies that help fight off infections. Image used for representational purpose (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

New Delhi: Organ transplant recipients might receive benefit from a third jab of the COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot which will push the response rate, as per a recent study conducted by Canadian scientists.

A randomised trial was conducted during the study, wherein 120 organ transplant recipients, who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were divided into two batches. None of the patients had any previous diagnosis of COVID-19. While one group received a third jab of the COVID vaccine, the other received saline.

The primary research was based upon antibody level greater than 100 U/ml against the increased protein of the virus. The researchers also found that the response rate was 55 per cent in those who had already received the third dose compared to 18 per cent who had not received the third jab.

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“The third dose of mRNA vaccine in transplant recipients had substantially higher immunogenicity than placebo, as determined in our analysis of both primary and secondary trial endpoints. This trial had short follow-up and was not powered to detect differences in clinical outcomes,” says the study which has been published in New England Journal of Medicine.

During a chat with ANI, Dr Anil Arora, chairman, Institute of Liver Gastroenterology and Pancreaticobiliary Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital stated, “This is an excellent study which looks at the response to COVID-19 vaccination in immune-compromised patients. In previously published trials most of the studies have shown consistently poor response to COVID vaccination in patients with organ transplants. This is quite understandable because the immune system has to be robust to generate a response to the antigens presented by the vaccine.”

Dr Arora then went on to state that organ transplant patients are routinely prescribed immunosuppressive medicines to stop the rejection of the transplanted organ. According to a result, they have a compromised immune system which is absolutely not able to adequately generate the antibodies against the COVID-19 antigens as a part and parcel of the vaccine.

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“The third dose can work as a booster dose that will push the response rate. In all such cases with immune suppression, you may need higher doses of vaccination at frequent intervals so as to jack up the compromised immune response. This study reiterates that the third dose as a booster pushes up the response rate up to 55 per cent which is still suboptimal as compare to an immune-competent person who will have an excellent response in 90 per cent of the time,” Dr Arora said.

(With ANI Inputs)

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