Organ transplant patients can safely receive COVID-19 vaccine, suggests study

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer Moderna

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have studied the reaction of nearly 200 solid organ transplant recipients to their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. The findings, they say, suggest that the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccines can be safely given to this immunocompromised population.

In the study, 52% of people (97 people) were kidney transplant recipients; 19% (35) were liver; 14% (26) were heart; 9% (17) were lung; 3% (six) were kidney and pancreas; and (six) were other multi-organ recipients.

The median age was 48; 69% (129) were female, 87% (163) were white; and 6% (11) were Hispanic or Latino.

Vaccinations occurred at a median of six years following transplant surgery; while all participants were receiving immunosuppression medications to prevent rejection of their transplanted organs.

None of the participants were diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination during the course of the study. In addition, the percentage of those that experienced adverse reactions to the vaccine (such as fever or chills) was similar to that seen in large Phase 3 trials.

Organ rejection — a common concern about vaccinating transplant recipients — did not occur in the trial.

The researchers of the study will continue to conduct long-term follow up studies of the participants.

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