This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.
How do COVID-19 vaccines affect people who are immunocompromised?
Our immunity is an elegant, well-balanced, redundant, and extraordinarily complex system with new moving parts still being discovered.
For some of us, various parts are damaged or missing and our immune protection is compromised.
Being immunocompromised has a similar spectrum of meaning as does being old or young, rich or poor. There are many gradations.
Not surprisingly, there is more than one answer to the question: How do COVID-19 vaccines affect people who are immunocompromised?
Even among CLL patients, we know that our response to the vaccine depends on our disease status, which treatments we have had, and when. I will be summarizing these data soon.
The good news is that we are quickly piecing together the puzzle. The bad news is that it is a very big puzzle.
This patient-friendly news article catches us up on some of the latest research as of May 2021. It goes beyond talking about antibody levels post-vaccination and shares some hints on the role of T cells in protecting us.
I have written about immunity related to COVID-19 and how we might protect ourselves here: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Patients and Protection Against COVID-19: Passive and Active Immunity, Monoclonal Antibodies, and Vaccines.
Thank goodness that researchers are recognizing our increased risk and are looking for answers.
As new data emerge, we will be able to formulate the best strategy to ensure our protection. CLL Society is working tirelessly to move this work forward.
We need to be patient, but we can be optimistic.
Stay strong. We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer