After Third Dose, Hope

A third COVID-19 vaccine dose may provide some hope for increased immunity for people with organ transplants, according to results of a small study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Why it's important:

Millions of people who have transplants, cancer or other disorders take immune-suppressing drugs, which affects their bodies’ ability to respond to vaccines, STAT notes


  • Of 30 transplant patients followed in the study, 24 had no antibodies after 2 vaccine doses. 8 of them developed some antibodies after their third shot.
  • Antibodies jumped considerably after a third shot for 6 patients who had minimal levels of protection following their initial 2 doses, according to a study led by Dorry Segev at Johns Hopkins.

The study wasn’t systematically done—patients in a Segev research project independently sought out third doses—but this is the first study to document the impact of a third dose, Science reports.

The Quote: “It’s very encouraging,” Segev said. “Just because you’re fully negative after two doses doesn’t mean that there’s no hope.”

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