Towards a third dose for those with immunodeficiency?


  • A person is said to have immunodeficiency when their immune system becomes unable to properly deal with pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or toxic agents.
  • Since the start of the vaccination campaign in France, 1,0507,294 people have received at least one injection (i.e. 15.7% of the total population and 20.0% of the adult population).

In France, more than 63,000 people live thanks to a transplant, according to Biomedical AgencyOr chemotherapy or biotherapy are people who are immunocompromised. This means that their immune system is no longer able to fight off pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites. So they are more susceptible to contracting a severe form of Covid-19. Hence, government authorities decided to put it on the list of priority people for vaccination against Covid-19.

Immunocompromised people do not make enough antibodies

But according to preliminary comments and scientific data, these immunocompromised patients will not respond to the vaccine like the rest of the population. In other words, it will be less effective for them, because even after vaccination, they will not make or not make enough antibodies to fight the virus. Consequently, some patients who received both doses were still ill. This phenomenon has already been observed in other vaccines, such as hepatitis B vaccines. In this particular case, the solution found was to increase the dose of the vaccine. Thus, instead of natural therapy, these immunocompromised patients now receive either a third injection or double doses – two doses at the same time – or even adjuvants in addition to the vaccine that increase the immune response.

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A clinical trial to better adapt the vaccination

To date, immunocompromised patients have not been included in the Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials. This is now done, thanks to CovPopart, a French clinical trial that aims to quantify the immune response of 13 types of patients with diseases that can limit their body’s response to a vaccine. These are people who have been transplanted, have diabetes, or are treated for diseases such as cancer or HIV. The goal is to better adapt the vaccination to the immune responses of these people.

Even vaccinated and immunocompromised people should remain vigilant

While awaiting the results of this clinical trial, a third dose option may be determined by the Vaccine Strategy Steering Board. This may be related to the systematic vaccination of the patient’s hem. But, until further notice, immunocompromised people who have been vaccinated should remain vigilant as they are not fully protected from Covid-19. Before a solution is found and decided upon, they are thus still forced to respect barrier gestures and social distancing as well as all health measures.


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