In a new study from Regenstrief Institute, researchers found that COVID-19 vaccines are less effective at protecting against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in people who are immunocompromised.
In general, immunocompromised individuals are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.
These findings indicate that while two-doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are beneficial in immunocompromised individuals, they are much less protected from severe disease than people with normal immune systems.
In the study, the team gathered data from more than 89,000 hospitalizations across nine states, making this the largest study of its kind evaluating COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness among immunocompromised people.
They found those mRNA vaccines (manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna) were 90% effective at protecting against COVID-related hospitalization in immunocompetent individuals.
But the vaccines were only 77% effective in those with suppressed immunity due to a range of health conditions.
The differences were similar across age groups. However, the effectiveness varied greatly among immunocompromised subgroups.
For example, it was lower in organ or stem cell transplant patients and better in people with rheumatologic or inflammatory disorders.
The team suggests that those who are immunocompromised should receive an additional dose and a booster, take additional precautions like masking when in public.
And if they get infected, they should seek treatment with proven therapies that can protect against progression to severe disease and the need for hospitalization.
If you care about COVID vaccines, please read studies about with time and without masks, COVID-19 vaccines wane in protection and findings of COVID-19 vaccines effectively prevent hospitalization in older people.
For more information about COVID vaccines and your health, please see recent studies about what happens when the COVID-19 vaccines enter the body and results showing that vaccines beat natural immunity in fight against COVID-19.
The study is published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. One author of the study is Peter Embí, M.D., M.S.
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