COVID-19 vaccines for transplant patients

Vaccines have been authorized for use in preventing COVID-19. As a transplant patient, you may have questions on how that impacts you. UI Health Care tries to answer those for you:

When will COVID-19 vaccines become available for transplant recipients?

Decisions regarding which groups will receive vaccinations are made by federal, state, and local authorities. Vaccines will be given in phases, with health care employees and long-term care facilities part of the first phase. It will be some time before the general public is able to become vaccination.

Transplant recipients may fall under “people with high risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical condition” and may be included in groups for earlier vaccination. The exact timing and availability of vaccines for transplant recipients are unknown at this time.

As a transplant recipient, should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Weighing the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated is important. While there is not yet data available on the COVID-19 vaccine in transplant recipients, it is believed that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks for transplant recipients. You should discuss your options with your provider.

It is important for transplant recipients to continue to follow all current safety guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 after vaccination.

Will getting vaccinated cause me to lose my transplanted organ?

We do not believe that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would trigger organ rejection or other major illness that could jeopardize your organ.

Are there any studies focusing on transplant recipients who get the vaccine?

A team at Johns Hopkins Medicine has initiated a study focusing on transplant recipients who get the vaccine. All solid organ transplant recipients who intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine are invited to enroll in this national observational study looking at antibody development and durability after vaccination. Results from this study will provide important guidance to transplant recipients, many of whom are currently reluctant to get the vaccine given its novelty.

Participation in the study involves at-home, painless capillary blood sampling before and after vaccination and the completion of several short surveys (vaccine side effects, impact of allergies). Initial information generated from this study should be available in February-March of 2021 followed by more extensive information planned for publication throughout 2021.

Learn more or enroll in this study

Last reviewed: 
December 2020

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