Studies suggest vaccines may not fully protect immunocompromised Americans

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 8:25 AM AKDT
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(CNN) - As the pace of U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations continues to slow down, there’s concern for Americans who have weakened immune systems and may not get adequate protection from the vaccine.

Several studies suggest some people who take immunosuppressants might not have had a strong response to the vaccine and therefore might not be protected against the virus.

These drugs are used to treat common conditions such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and more.

“We have to address those problems because there are a substantial amount of people in the United States and worldwide who do not have an adequate immune response,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

That’s why the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will soon start a study to help determine the best approach to help those who are immunocompromised.

“To temporarily suspend their immunosuppressive therapy when we vaccinate them, or to give them additional boosters?” Fauci said. “We’re not quite sure, but we have to address those problems.”

Biotechnology company Regeneron says it is also considering research proposals to test whether its antibody drug could help patients who did not have an adequate response to COVID-19 vaccines.

The FDA authorized Regeneron’s antibody drug for emergency use to treat COVID-19 in November.

The agency is currently evaluating whether to expand the authorization for the prevention of the disease.

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