COVID?19 infection in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients afte
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A small study from Mayo Clinic researchers raises the concern that some transplant patients may have a limited immune response after being vaccinated for COVID-19 with an mRNA vaccine. Their findings are published as a letter to the editor in the American Journal of Transplantation.

The letter covers seven organ transplant recipients diagnosed with COVID-19 at Mayo Clinic in Florida 6 to 44 days after receiving either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA. Two patients had received one dose, and five patients had received both doses.

COVID-19 infection was confirmed in all patients. The study team reports that five of the patients had severe enough infection to be hospitalized and three required oxygen when discharged.

Investigators tested the blood of patients who had received a solid organ for spike antibodies to COVID-19, which would be the type of antibody generated by the vaccine. Of the six patients who were tested, antibodies to the spike protein were found in only one. That patient had received both mRNA vaccine doses 44 days prior and had a low titer of anti-spike antibody. Using available vaccination data, they estimated that the infection rate in vaccinated solid organ transplant recipients was 10 times higher than the general population.

"Our study suggests that transplant patients don't have the same immune response as the general population. They got infected after getting vaccinated and lifting protective measures, thinking they were immune to the virus."

"Care should still be implemented in vaccinated solid organ transplant immunocompromised patients until we have better vaccine strategies," says the author. "All individuals, especially transplant patients, should continue to follow protective measures, such as social distancing, mask-wearing and regular hand hygiene."

American Journal of Transplantation