Vaccine Watch: Protecting immunosuppressed patients

ABC News’ Erielle Reshef reports on the challenges the immunosuppressed face with COVID-19 vaccines providing little to no immunity and solutions researchers are exploring.
5:56 | 06/24/21

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Transcript for Vaccine Watch: Protecting immunosuppressed patients
As the Kutcher reopens more fully from the pandemic there's wonderful Americans who may not see the full benefits of getting the vaccine and it's protections. And they are no compromise and you know suppressed people who weren't able to produce antibodies even after being fully vaccinated. So how are they navigating re openings and what can be done to protect them from the virus here's ABC's aerial rash chest with this week's vaccine watch. Like most Americans are Rea Hoffman is eager to get back to pre pandemic life. Eye to eye and I wanna see that I hadn't seen just like everybody else in aren't trying but like roughly 3% of Americans Maria isn't you know compromise for people like aria there immune systems don't work like everyone else's. Less able to defend the body against infections. Either because of a specific disease that impacts the immune system or medications that suppress it I don't look like Hattie nutrient anything. I need your history you're never gonna you know. Korea is fully vaccinated but because she is an you know compromise that's not assure protection against Kobe nineteen. There's no guarantee at our own the integration packs are gonna Wear me. Researchers say that into bodies aren't the only indicator of levels of protection as other parts of the immune system are also defending the body against infection. Think of antibodies as the city of being a logic guys are great. Antibodies are above the surface we can measure them. Below the surface there's a tremendous amount happening with these cell immunity T cell immunity and then trying to coral laid all of that with protective immunity. But people that are in you know compromised or in you know suppressed live at a higher risk for infection that most. The issue isn't just that they are more are more vulnerable to covet a team they can be more vulnerable to any attraction. And if you're immune system's compromised not only are you more susceptible to getting infected which may be more susceptible having a more severe infection. Today the pandemic is still far from over worldwide there are nearly 7000. Deaths a day and over 101000 new cases reported in the US daily. But with over 65%. Of US adults with at least one vaccine shot. 46 states have felt comfortable lifting their masks mandates and fully reopening leaving some light Korea feeling left but tonight. Isner wreck T honestly here because how can I guarantee that I gallons ability in the pool and everybody's been vaccinated. Researchers today are working to learn more about these vulnerable population but the studies are still in the early stages and too small for any definitive. Answers this has been very teams all. Trust to go through our nation's many of from works. Yet Maxine. Said they came. Or so that they can hugged their grandchild. And then getting this news that you didn't have antibodies. The Coca nineteen vaccines have been tested heavily and are safe T use for the general population. But vaccines available in the US have had little to no testing in in you know compromised individuals something doctors Ira and other researchers wanted to address early on there was very little data. About how patients with autoimmune diseases might say -- with vaccine these researchers wanted to bridge that gap testing how well vaccines worked among in you know suppressed people and suggesting that some types of medication seemed to interfere with normal antibody response. They say more research is needed the most important studies argued Beagle large large march studies Richard in a look at forgetting wedding antibodies and what's happening are these Haitians getting an early data also suggests that some patients had more trouble than others developing antibodies after. After a full two dose series. Only 50% of transplant patients would have any into body at all. In contrast to 100% of people with how the immune systems. And even the 50% of transplant patients who do you need to body responds don't have the same high levels of antibodies. That people would help immune systems how. But there has been good news in a study published this month involving thirty transplant patients many of those that had pour responses to the normal amount of Kobe vaccine doses improved their antibody response. After a third dose. Either are they will need. Additional doe says. Higher doses. Some modifications to their immune suppression juror and go sing. Org or maybe some people who we just cannot get a good immune response. Within any of these approaches. The CDC and FDA are not recommending extra doses of the vaccine for anyone but they say the vaccines are safe for an you know compromise people. Think the main take away points from this study is how. First you know suppressed patients. That we will ultimately. Be able to see you're out. How to get a good immune response. And experts say that if you're in you know compromised the best thing you can do is get vaccinated because some protection is better than nine. Researchers hope that further study will bring answers and an increased sense of safety for vulnerable communities. It just takes longer to understand. The immune response in people win. Compromised immune systems vs what we already know about the immune response in people would help immune systems. Though there's no timetable for those answers yet they can't come soon enough we still need to act like there isn't any next year old that you don't know about. For ABC news I'm Arial rash F tracking the vaccines. Our thanks to aerial for bringing us that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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