COVID-19 vaccine elicits weak antibody response in people taking immunosuppressant

People taking TNF inhibitors, a kind of immunosuppressive drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions, produced a weaker and shorter-lived antibody response after two doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A third vaccine dose drove antibody levels back up, indicating that this additional dose may provide protection as the virus’s delta variant continues to spread.

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

One year ago, then 65-year-old Miriam Clark developed a fever, lost her appetite and had no energy. She and her daughter, Tye Clark, the administrative services manager of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Division of Hospital Medicine, never could have imagined what they would end up going through before Miriam was diagnosed with COVID-19. Looking back on the year, the mother and daughter duo are thankful and now even have reason to celebrate.

Pre-existing influenza immunity impacts antibody quality following seasonal infection and vaccination

New research by scientists at the University of Chicago suggests a person’s antibody response to influenza viruses is dramatically shaped by their pre-existing immunity, and that the quality of this response differs in individuals who are vaccinated or naturally infected. Their results highlight the importance of receiving the annual flu vaccine to induce the most protective immune response.