Antibody tests and vaccinations in transplants

Posted by joko @joko, Jul 15, 2021

Following Johns Hopkins study on transplants vaccinations discussions on here. I got Moderna shots in Jan/Feb. 2021. After all the studies and discussions, got the antibody test on 7/11/21. It came back "Reactive" with H in the H/L or High/Low patient website results. My doctor said I had either had some contact with coronavirus* or the vaccinations were working. All of this is very confusing. There is no telling what level of protection it affords. Best advice comes from MD Andersen for cancer patients and antibody tests which follows: https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/what-do-negative-positive-antibody-test-results-mean-after-a-covid-19-vaccine.h00-159459267.html#.YO3UTFkdgjQ.mailto

*My wife and I cruised Pacific islands Aus/NZ in Nov. 2019. Caught what they thought was adenovirus on ship. Or so they called it. We both were deathly ill. Hers went to her lungs and lasted for months. No one in the States knew anything about Covid in early 2020 so I wonder if we didn't have Covid.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Transplants group.

After two Pfizer vaccines, I had zero antibodies. I got the J&J vaccine and will do another antibody test in a few weeks. It's all very confusing. I'm still masking up and avoiding large crowds, particularly indoors.

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Hi @joko, am I correct that you had a stell cell transplant?
@loribmt shared a bit about her experience with COVID antibody testing here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/602769/

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@diana61

After two Pfizer vaccines, I had zero antibodies. I got the J&J vaccine and will do another antibody test in a few weeks. It's all very confusing. I'm still masking up and avoiding large crowds, particularly indoors.

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I had two Moderna shots with Zero antibodies. I took a third ant it showed antibodies. Two weeks ago I took a 4th shot and this week my Dr. ordered a Covid Tither? test to determine my antibody load. This is the same test JH mentioned in their research. No Medical advice supports taking more than 2 shots (except in France). Since I live in an area where the Delta variant is increasing exponentially, I decided to take the risk..

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@colleenyoung

Hi @joko, am I correct that you had a stell cell transplant?
@loribmt shared a bit about her experience with COVID antibody testing here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/602769/

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No, Colleen. Kidney transplant 4/30/87. 34 years. Cyclosporine up to 2015 and then to Mycophenolic Acid. Reading all these postings about the antibody test from other transplants I wish: (1) We knew more about what to conclude from an antibody tests, and there seem to be various tests available, and (2) the doctors would get their acts together on what to recommend. (Going to conclude the since CDC and FDA et al can't agree on much that the doctors are getting mixed signals as well. We seem to be inventing this as we go along.)

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@benlam11

I had two Moderna shots with Zero antibodies. I took a third ant it showed antibodies. Two weeks ago I took a 4th shot and this week my Dr. ordered a Covid Tither? test to determine my antibody load. This is the same test JH mentioned in their research. No Medical advice supports taking more than 2 shots (except in France). Since I live in an area where the Delta variant is increasing exponentially, I decided to take the risk..

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@benlam11– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I had the Moderna vaccine, both shots. But, I haven't even thought about having antibody tests because they aren't fully developed, approved, or reliable as of now. I hope that they will be soon because it will make a lot of people happy and more confident in the vaccines. If there is a booster offered I'll be in line for it as I have lung cancer.
https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/antibody-testing-not-currently-recommended-assess-immunity-after-covid-19-vaccination-fda-safety
Were your side-effects different with the third and fourth shots than the first and second?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @joko, am I correct that you had a stell cell transplant?
@loribmt shared a bit about her experience with COVID antibody testing here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/602769/

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Hi Colleen, if your question is directed to me, I had a liver transplant in 2016.

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@merpreb

@benlam11– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I had the Moderna vaccine, both shots. But, I haven't even thought about having antibody tests because they aren't fully developed, approved, or reliable as of now. I hope that they will be soon because it will make a lot of people happy and more confident in the vaccines. If there is a booster offered I'll be in line for it as I have lung cancer.
https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/antibody-testing-not-currently-recommended-assess-immunity-after-covid-19-vaccination-fda-safety
Were your side-effects different with the third and fourth shots than the first and second?

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I had zero impact from the first , second and fourth shot. After the third shot, I felt a little, sort of like a low level cold ( zero fever) and I just stayed home. After the third shot is when antibodies were first detected. I would also recommend you watch the JH video updates and the type of antibody test they use. And the French approval of the third shot. We all know our FDA moves slowly as they did not include immunocompromised people in heir initial studies.
So who knows if they are researching it now, or relying on others. So they place the risk on the patients..

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@joko, @diana61, @benlam11, @merpreb – Here is a recent interview with Dr Dorry Segev, whom you may have met in one of the Johns Hopkins webinars. I have shared this link in the discussion of the JH Webinars, but I think that it is worth repeating here. I found the interview to be informative and easy to understand (even with my limited understanding of antibodies and immune system)
"Dorry Segev, MD, PhD ’09, has been conducting research on the immune responses of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID but, because of their compromised immune systems, are not protected from the virus."

COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunocompromised People: Fully Vaccinated and Not Protected
After being fully vaccinated, only 50% of people who are immunocompromised show an antibody response to COVID-19.
INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE DESMON | JULY 14, 2021
https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/covid-19-vaccines-and-immunocompromised-people-fully-vaccinated-and-not-protected.html
My take-away is that antibodies don't tell it all, and that further research is happing now. There is a lot that medical science does not know, but I feel hopeful as I try to remain patient.

What did you read in this interview that was especially meaningful or that helped to clear up some of your current confusion?

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@rosemarya

@joko, @diana61, @benlam11, @merpreb – Here is a recent interview with Dr Dorry Segev, whom you may have met in one of the Johns Hopkins webinars. I have shared this link in the discussion of the JH Webinars, but I think that it is worth repeating here. I found the interview to be informative and easy to understand (even with my limited understanding of antibodies and immune system)
"Dorry Segev, MD, PhD ’09, has been conducting research on the immune responses of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID but, because of their compromised immune systems, are not protected from the virus."

COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunocompromised People: Fully Vaccinated and Not Protected
After being fully vaccinated, only 50% of people who are immunocompromised show an antibody response to COVID-19.
INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE DESMON | JULY 14, 2021
https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/covid-19-vaccines-and-immunocompromised-people-fully-vaccinated-and-not-protected.html
My take-away is that antibodies don't tell it all, and that further research is happing now. There is a lot that medical science does not know, but I feel hopeful as I try to remain patient.

What did you read in this interview that was especially meaningful or that helped to clear up some of your current confusion?

Jump to this post

Impressed with the level of clarity in this interview. The issue is complex, but this explanation makes it much easier to understand. The human body is so exquisitely balanced that when one thing changes, so do all others. The explanation of the antibodies, T-cells and B-cells is excellent. My conclusion: Sounds like a 3rd shot is in the future. And the discussion of monoclonal antibodies is intriguing but I don't see that being implemented broadly. Imagine it's very expensive. We are building a Boeing 737 mid-air. Thanks for sharing.

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@rosemarya

@joko, @diana61, @benlam11, @merpreb – Here is a recent interview with Dr Dorry Segev, whom you may have met in one of the Johns Hopkins webinars. I have shared this link in the discussion of the JH Webinars, but I think that it is worth repeating here. I found the interview to be informative and easy to understand (even with my limited understanding of antibodies and immune system)
"Dorry Segev, MD, PhD ’09, has been conducting research on the immune responses of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID but, because of their compromised immune systems, are not protected from the virus."

COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunocompromised People: Fully Vaccinated and Not Protected
After being fully vaccinated, only 50% of people who are immunocompromised show an antibody response to COVID-19.
INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE DESMON | JULY 14, 2021
https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/covid-19-vaccines-and-immunocompromised-people-fully-vaccinated-and-not-protected.html
My take-away is that antibodies don't tell it all, and that further research is happing now. There is a lot that medical science does not know, but I feel hopeful as I try to remain patient.

What did you read in this interview that was especially meaningful or that helped to clear up some of your current confusion?

Jump to this post

@rosemarya– Thank you kindly for sharing this. I have just read it and also I have printed it out. And this is why I don't intend of being tested until there is a reliable, accurate test. I have enough to worry about without worrying about results that aren't answering questions.

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@benlam11

I had zero impact from the first , second and fourth shot. After the third shot, I felt a little, sort of like a low level cold ( zero fever) and I just stayed home. After the third shot is when antibodies were first detected. I would also recommend you watch the JH video updates and the type of antibody test they use. And the French approval of the third shot. We all know our FDA moves slowly as they did not include immunocompromised people in heir initial studies.
So who knows if they are researching it now, or relying on others. So they place the risk on the patients..

Jump to this post

@benlam11 – Good morning. J&J is undergoing some problems with the side effects of their vaccine so I wouldn't look to them for advice, unless you had the J&J vaccine. The J&J vaccine is quite different than the other mRNA vaccines: The ultimate difference is the way the instructions are delivered. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the more traditional virus-based technology. mRNA is essentially a little piece of code that the vaccine delivers to your cells.

Humans have always been guinea pigs for vaccines for humans, but that doesn't assure constant results. We, humans, are just too complicated!

Have you read this?
https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2021/07/13/mrna-vaccines-could-pack-more-persistent-punch-against-covid-19-than-thought/
You say that the medical field places the risk with the patient. In a sense that is true, however, from the quick pace of the virus and its variants killing people something had to be done. Should the FDA do something different?
What might that have done?

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@merpreb

@benlam11 – Good morning. J&J is undergoing some problems with the side effects of their vaccine so I wouldn't look to them for advice, unless you had the J&J vaccine. The J&J vaccine is quite different than the other mRNA vaccines: The ultimate difference is the way the instructions are delivered. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the more traditional virus-based technology. mRNA is essentially a little piece of code that the vaccine delivers to your cells.

Humans have always been guinea pigs for vaccines for humans, but that doesn't assure constant results. We, humans, are just too complicated!

Have you read this?
https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2021/07/13/mrna-vaccines-could-pack-more-persistent-punch-against-covid-19-than-thought/
You say that the medical field places the risk with the patient. In a sense that is true, however, from the quick pace of the virus and its variants killing people something had to be done. Should the FDA do something different?
What might that have done?

Jump to this post

From the beginning I thought mRNA is breakthrough technology and the way to go.. It had been in the pipeline for a long time as a potential for some cancers ( It is being tested for some cancers in Munich Germany right now). I was not looking for the J&J old technology, as I thought it was the same technology as the flu vaccine. Right now however I know of a family (friends) living in one home, with all but the two youngest vaccinated with mRNA. Five of them are sick with one hospitalized with Covid. The person hospitalized is a diabetic in his 40's. So keep you guard up as this seemed extreme to me with a supposedly only 5% breakthrough rate.

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