Immunocompromised patients facing complications from COVID-19 despite getting vaccine

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Hospital patients in Florida are seeing more coronavirus patients than ever before.

About 95% of them are unvaccinated.

Dr. Rajiv Bahl, an emergency medicine physician in Central Florida, said a handful of of the vaccinated people who have come in with COVID-19 include “individuals who have had an organ transplant undergoing chemotherapy, or radiation, or even HIV and some other comorbidities.”

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Bahl said they are more susceptible because “their body already has a lowered ability to fight.”

Immunocompromised patients were some of the first people in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but studies have shown they often don’t generate enough antibodies in the first place, so they don’t get full protection.

The CDC estimates about 9 million Americans are immunocompromised.

READ: Central Florida transplant recipient gets third COVID-19 vaccine shot ahead of expected approval

A Johns Hopkins study found they are 485 times more likely to end up in the hospital or even die from COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated.

Concerns over the more contagious delta variant have pushed the FDA and CDC to consider a third booster shot for the immunocompromised.

The CDC is set to meet Friday for a vote. Authorization of another dose would be just for those immunocompromised people who got Pfizer or Moderna. Studies are in the works for Johnson & Johnson.

READ: Orange County officials suspend all youth sports as COVID-19 cases surge

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.