Skip to Content

COVID Vaccines Safe for Organ Transplant Recipients: Study

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 -- Here's some good news for people who've had solid organ transplants and have weakened immune systems: mRNA coronavirus vaccines are safe for these vulnerable folks, new research shows.

The study included 187 transplant recipients who received an initial dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines between Dec. 16, 2020 and Jan. 16, 2021.

The participants, median age 48, were recruited for the study by invitation through their transplant centers or social media. Their transplants had occurred a median of six years earlier and all were taking immunosuppression drugs to prevent rejection of their transplanted organs.

The participants included kidney (52%), liver (19%), heart (14%), lung (9%), kidney and pancreas (3%), and other multi-organ (3%) recipients.

In the week after they received their COVID-19 vaccine, none of the patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Rates of adverse systemic reactions to the vaccines were low -- for example, chills (9%) and fever (4%) -- and similar to those in large randomized clinical trials that assessed the safety of the vaccines.

Many of the participants reported local reactions after vaccination, including mild pain at the site of inoculation (61%), mild redness (7%) and mild swelling (16%).

There were no cases of organ rejection, which is a concern in this group of patients, according to the study published online recently in the journal Transplantation.

"We hope to further this research by exploring any unexpected safety issues with long-term follow-up studies of these patients in the future," senior study author Dr. Jacqueline Garonzik Wang, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release.

Study co-author Dr. Dorry Segev, professor of surgery and epidemiology, and director of Hopkins' Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation, added that "these insights are critical toward protecting the lives and quelling the fears of transplant recipients who might be hesitant about getting the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines."

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2021

Read this next

Masks Vital to Stopping COVID at Gyms, Studies Show

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2021 -- If you think you can safely exercise without your mask in a gym during the pandemic, two new government reports show you are mistaken. Coronavirus...

Pandemic Is Adding to Teachers' Stress, and Quit Rates

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2021 -- Stress is the No. 1 reason U.S. teachers left the profession before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new poll reveals. Nearly 1,000 former public...

Health Highlights: Feb. 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Planning for Variants Pfizer and BioNTech say they plan to update their original COVID-19 vaccine and also test a third booster shot in order to prepare...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.