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Immunocompromised and Afraid of the COVID-19 Vaccines?

Covid Vaccine

We know a lot of immunocompromised patients afraid of the COVID-19 vaccine, because there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there. It’s no different that women being concerned about fertility, or parents concerned about the vaccines’ impact on the younger populations. These questions come, because there hasn’t been much testing done on these populations.

So does that mean immunocompromised patients need to be freaked out?

Well, according to a recent article by the University of Chicago Medicine, it’s not likely that there is much to be afraid of in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine. While immunocompromised spoonies do have to be concerned about some vaccines like measles, rubella and mumps (sometimes abbreviated as the MMR vaccine), this vaccine is structured differently.

This new structure has to do with genetics rather than live viruses, which is a pretty cool thing for immunocompromised patients. When an immunocompromised person gets a vaccine with a live virus, their bodies can’t handle it. However, these vaccines just contain genetic instruction for the protein in the COVID virus, it’s not the same thing. (Hence the argument over whether to call this a vaccine or not, which we will NOT be getting into today.)

This change to genetic instructions rather than live viruses makes it easier on the immunocompromised patients. It does not, though, mean that there aren’t real concerns about the vaccine.

The Real Concerns

What did the article say should be the biggest concern? An allergic reaction. For the other vaccinations, toxicity is the concern, but in this case, it an allergic reaction. This is the same initial concern for the general population, too. So, there shouldn’t be an increased concern for immunocompromised patients when it comes to allergic reactions, unless you’re prone to allergic reactions as a whole. Like anything we ever say on this blog or anywhere here, talk to your doctor.

The other real concern for medical professionals is that the vaccines might not be as effective for immunocompromised patients as others. This is the real kicker. In the University of Chicago article, they remind us that there hasn’t really been much testing done on immunocompromised patients. They aren’t sure if autoimmune diseases themselves could be an issue in effectiveness or the medications immunocompromised patients take. They’re looking at what can be done for these type of patients.

So Should You be Immunocompromised and Afraid of the COVID-19 Vaccines?

We can’t answer this for you, honestly. We’re not your doctors (repeating that again, see your doctor, because each of you Spoonies are different!!!). There are concerns about the vaccine, sure. There’s the concern for everyone about allergic reactions. That’s just across the board. There’s the concern it might not work 100%. Well, yeah. But weigh that out with having 0% protection at all against COVID. It’s a dilemma. And one we’ll definitely be discussing often on The Chronic Spoonful podcast, because there’s no easy answer here. It’s quite a personal decision, and one to make with yourself and your medical team.

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