Immunocompromised and wary about getting a COVID vaccine? Here’s what experts say

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None of the large-scale vaccine trials included people who are immunocompromised, though every indication is that vaccines are safe in this group. Organizations representing experts in cancer, organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases all support vaccination for their patients.

Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said [March 14] that there are still questions about vaccines and the immunocompromised.

It’s remains unclear, he said at a news conference, whether people who are immunocompromised make a comparable immune response to those without these conditions, whether the protection from vaccines will last as long in them and whether they will be able to transmit the disease after vaccination. 

There’s no question people who are immunocompromised are at higher risk for bad outcomes if they do get COVID-19, he said. 

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People with compromised immune systems are also more likely to spread the virus to others, several experts said, and may be more likely to foster the variants that threaten to make the disease more dangerous and vaccines less effective.

That’s why it’s particularly important for the immunocompromised to get vaccinated.

“We have an amazing opportunity to prevent people from getting ill,” said Dr. Lewis Teperman, director of transplantation at Northwell Health, a large care provider in New York.

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