Developing immunity after COVID vaccine if ... - AF Association

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Developing immunity after COVID vaccine if you are immune suppressed or taking immune suppressants - as I am.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer

On recommendation from a relative who is a bio-chemist, I bought and took an antibody test 3 weeks following my 2nd dose of Pfitzer vaccine. I tested negative for antibodies to the Spike Protein in the vaccine which should show as positive.

They have just sent me details of several studies published in the US Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating that about 40% of those with deficient or suppressed immune systems don’t develop antibodies after vaccination.

This would include people taking meds to suppress the immune system for things like RA, IBS, psoriasis and other types of autoimmune diseases should not alter their caution regarding mask wearing, hygiene and social distancing.

Further studies are taking place in transplant centres but I have combed the press for report and in the UK - Zilch!

Those of us with immune suppression - please be aware and get tested if you can and don’t assume you will develop immunity and don’t let your guard down.

I can’t find the studies but were conducted but the lead researcher was Hani Wadei at the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center.

bestlifeonline.com/antibodi...

Everyone I spoke to - including my GP - is very surprised when I told them I tested negative. My view is that at least I know so I won’t be changing my behaviour, continuing to be very careful, not mixing and always wear a mask in public.

48 Replies

The study referred to in article above:-

jamanetwork.com/journals/ja...

Although this study demonstrates an improvement in antispike antibody responses in transplant recipients after dose 2 compared with dose 1, these data suggest that a substantial proportion of transplant recipients likely remain at risk for COVID-19 after 2 doses of mRNA vaccine. Future studies should address interventions to improve vaccine responses in this population, including additional booster doses or immunosuppression modulation.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Why am I not surprised by that CD ? I would have thought anything else was wishful thinking. How can the immune system respond if it is supressed?

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to BobD

It depends - about 40% of people did develop antibodies but majority don’t. As you say it’s hardly a huge surprise which is why I was advised to test & at least now I know.

Research is only starting & lagging behind normal response but it is possible that with boosters of various vaccines we may develop antibodies.

Hello. This is interesting because Mum is on RA drugs that suppress her immune system. She's had 2 doses of Pfizer now. Where can I buy a test to test her?

She has friends, relatives and cousins clamouring to visit. She keeps putting them off, but it's just a matter of time I feel as they are persistent and she hates to offend.

Tests available on line - the test I used was from ZoomDoc - link above.

My family are now taking precautions - only meeting outdoors & they are all doing lateral flow tests - which they all need to do for work & school before visiting.

Hope that helps.

Yes it does. I found you link after I replied. Sorry to make you repeat yourself. Mum is keen to have the test so I'm just about to order it for her. I'm going to do one for myself, just out of interest too.

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

None of the clinical trials included immune suppressed people - in fact they were amongst the many groups of people excluded so the trial data as presented to MRHA and the EMA could not give any info as to whether the vaccine was effective or safe for the excluded groups. The blog of Dr Sebastian Rushworth ( a Swedish doc despite the English name ! ) has a very interesting critique of the clinical trials for AZ, Pfizer and Moderna .

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Auriculaire

Exactly and I applied to be part of a trial recently and was excluded because of immune suppressants.

Thanks for the info - I’ll check that out.

Thank you for this information, CDreamer - very disappointing to hear, isn’t it? How are you feeling? It’s different knowing in theory the vaccine might not have had the desired effect, and seeing it in black and white on an antibody test...

I do wish there was more discussion and transparency about this kind of issue in UK broadcasting. Literally everyone I know assumes that as I’ve had both vaccines I’m fully covered - and that they are too. Even those very vulnerable with serious conditions are celebrating that fully normal life and ‘no restrictions’ are just round the corner.

My own doctor told me to exercise extreme caution still, but (with the medical/ media reporting as it is) my friends and family are incredulous over my cautious decisions. It makes me feel like a killjoy and a party pooper rolled into one!

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to JaneFinn

You are so right - people assume without clinical testing. 9/10 people with normal immune response will be protected. It’s pretty easy to get tested, though not currently on NHS unless you work in critical care.

I feel vulnerable & like you - fed up with people - even medics - assuming as I’ve had 2 jabs I’m protected!

JaneFinn profile image
JaneFinn in reply to CDreamer

Yes! You’ve inspired me to get antibody testing to see if my vaccines have had an effect. I hadn’t even thought of it, so thank you! At least it will either pleasantly surprise me or help me explain to people my continued caution :)

Can I ask which test you used?

Thanks :) Jx

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to JaneFinn

As far as I can see - there is only one test by Rocher which tests specifically for the antibodies following vaccine available in UK. Prof Spectre talked about this is his weekly update & talks about the different tests - 1 for after COVID and the other more suitable for after vaccine. I’ve now had 2 tests - 1st after having suspected COVID - both tested negative for antibodies.

youtu.be/tE47JhlV39g

Also answers a few other questions on this thread.

Prices for the antibody test vary hugely so beware - I saw a price difference of £59-£390! All exactly the same test. I used ZoomDoc - very efficient and received the test results within 24 hours via email & text. Other sources are available.

zoomdoc.com/product/covid19...

Thank you for all your posts here today CD, all very interesting and I recommend forum members to watch.

JaneFinn profile image
JaneFinn in reply to CDreamer

This is really helpful, CDreamer, thank you so much xxx

But what about the memory B cells and memory T cells? John Campbell mentioned those in a video about immunity to the virus.

The study says "Limitations of this study include a lack of exploration of memory B-cell or T-cell responses."

This is the video

youtube.com/watch?v=gFeJ2Bq...

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

I don’t know but I’m not about to be a lab rat to find out!

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

1. This info is over 10 months old.

2. It’s not specific to immune deficiency.

3. It’s not specific to after vaccination.

Immunity following infection works differently.

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

If you are immune deficient then I guess that would apply to every virus. Flu would be just as dangerous for you as covid. I think more people are now dying of flu.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

Correct and it is - I take the flu vaccine. I had flu in the 1970’s - I was extremely ill for 3 months. What is known as a common cold takes me 3-4 weeks to recover from - 9 days for most people.

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

This is from yesterday

facebook.com/Dr.JohnCampbel...

I haven't had time to watch it but will do so later.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

But you have to develop immunity in the 1st place! I have no immunity - I’ve been tested.

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to CDreamer

Apparently some people have cross reactive immunity to covid from past infections with other corona viruses that cause colds so maybe that includes B and T cell immunity. There have been people tested who show no antibodies but still have B and T cell immunity. You might not be totally lacking in defences.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Auriculaire

Yes I’ve read that too but that means it’s a gamble so until there is a little more certainty I will err on the side of caution.

Would having a strong reaction after vaccination suggest that one has made some antibodies? Did you have a reaction? I was in bed with aches and high temperature for two days.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hennerton

I have no idea but I did have mild after reactions to both jabs.

Staffsgirl profile image
Staffsgirl in reply to Hennerton

I read that this was an urban myth, but I don’t know.

If you watch the ZOE video with Phil Spector that CDreamer provided above, and you watch all of it, your question is answered by Phil directly.

PLEASE NOTE - we are talking only about people with dysfunctional immune systems or those taking medication to intentionally suppress the immune system as in organ transplantation.

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

Looking on the bright side, you would be unlikely to suffer from the cytokine storm. Presumably, in older people it is the covid infection that kills them whereas in younger people it is this over reaction of the immune system that does the harm.

I had absolutely no reaction to the vaccine either time. However, in spite of not having had the flu vaccine for over ten years, I haven't had flu nor had a cold for a very long time.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

Cytokine storm is more likely with autoimmune diseases.

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to CDreamer

Do you have an autoimmune disease?

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Physalis

Yes and take immune suppressants - 3grams of the stuff daily!

baba profile image
baba in reply to CDreamer

Very true

Thanks for this information CDreamer, it is such a difficult situation for people with autoimmune disorders and anybody on immunosuppressive medication.

Oh my - it seems so obvious when it's analysed, and well done for thinking of getting tested. It's quite amazing that not more noise has been made about the effects - or lack of them - on immune-suppressed people with suitable warnings to self-protect.

Thank you for posting this CD - I hope this information can be spread widely.

Yes, thank you for posting about this which, as you and others have said, does not seem to be getting any air time in the UK. I am not aware that I am particularly immune suppressed except on account of my age probably but may get tested to find out whether I have antibodies following the 2 vaccinations as although I have not flung caution to the wind, I am doing more than I have been doing in the way of meeting up with other people. I did test negative on a Covid antibody test earlier this year as part of one of the research projects I have been involved in but was not surprised it came back negative as I have not had Covid and had only just had the first jab.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Crystalbowl

You would know if you were immune deficient ie:- if you have had transplant, AIDS, chemotherapy, autoimmune disease taking immune suppressants, age would not be a big factor. My OH is 87 & tested positive so this won’t apply to most people.

Thank you.

Really appreciate your post CD, it’s especially relevant to my other half. Ordered two tests x

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hilly22

Hope you both get positive results.

As Hilly says, I appreciate your post. Thanl you.

Sorry to hear you are negative for antibodies.. its not the case for everyone who takes immune suppressants. My son in law has UC and other conditions. He has infusions every 2 weeks and takes immune suppressants. He also has had confirmed covid-19. He was only mildly ill. He takes antibody test for his job and he has both antibodies. N for covid and S for vaccine. I hope this gives some hope for others. Just sorry you don't have any.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Youngest

Everyone is different, I don’t think I said that everyone who was immune suppressed would be negative just that there the vaccine was less likely to be effective and therefore good idea to get tested.

It seems also that if you have had COVID then the vaccine will certainly give you that extra boost to develop antibodies.

A very helpful post. A friend with a liver transplant told me similar info.

I also took a test on behalf of a medical research unit and it was negative after the first dose of vaccine. Taking drugs for rheumatoid arthritis.

Might want to peruse this article and others like it to get views on bothsideso of the COVID Vaccine: uncoverdc.com/2021/05/31/va... the news on Covid is confusing...just follow the money will tell you most of what you need.

So sorry to hear this. From what I've tried to find the USA has no antibody test one can buy. Makes one wonder just what other illnesses one has and the meds one may be taking that could cause the vaccines to not work. So much not known. Prayers for you and your family. Continue to be safe.

Such useful information, thank you CDreamer.

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