COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Mar 14, 2020

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

I had a kidney transplant in 1981. I have been pretty much the same thins you are doing. Covid numbers are rising again in Minnesota and my wife works for the school district . We are now wearing masks at home and sleeping in separate bedrooms for now. Jackie is very good about putting her cloths in the laundry and taking a shower as soon as she gets home from work. So far it has worked.

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@livertrex

Thanks, the Lord is in control and I will not fear. He has brought me so far and has used me in my situations. I am a lot bolder in my witness.

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AMEN

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@guidant07

Just curious if you had your spleen removed prior to transplant,?

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Don't know where this thread started; but, when I had my kidney transplant in 2000 they took out my gall bladder when they put in my new kidney. The transplant team told me at that time that people did better when the gall bladder was removed.

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@btwest6

We have had COVID in the house several weeks ago. Our teenage son tested positive and was kept home. My husband had to quarantine at home with him. I continued to work, as I am an essential worker. Interestingly enough, my husband (who received a liver transplant in February) did not catch it, but I did. We did not take any special precautions (continued to live our home life as normal). As far as cleaning, I continued what I do on a regular basis. I share just to encourage others that it is possible to have it in the house, not go to extremes and not pass it on. Both my son and I have been recovered for several weeks and my husband was tested at one point and was negative. We are now well past the time when we should have passed it on. Hooray!

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@btwest6 I’m glad that everyone is well now. It seems as if your husband was very lucky to not catch it. What I have read is that those of us on immunotherapy can catch it more easily but we do not seem to get any sicker than others.

@tjgisewhite why do you think we cannot contract Covid? Our meds weaken our immune system, which makes catching anything more likely, even things like toenail fungus!
JK

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I am a liver transplant recipiant and am wondering how safe these top 3 Covid injections are for transplants. I would like Mayo to make a statement on these as they do for other medicines as they do for other medicines. As we are immune compromised and may get offered a vaccine I would like to know ahead of time.

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@jerrynord

I am a liver transplant recipiant and am wondering how safe these top 3 Covid injections are for transplants. I would like Mayo to make a statement on these as they do for other medicines as they do for other medicines. As we are immune compromised and may get offered a vaccine I would like to know ahead of time.

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@jerrynord, – Jerry, I think that we are all (I know that I am) having similar concerns about COVID vaccine. We are fearful of it being rushed through trials and are concerned about its safety. I have complete confidence to place my trust in Mayo, and all of our esteemed transplant centers to give us the information and guidance that we will need when the vaccine is approved and available.

I would like to stress that there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information that is coming thru a variety of media and news outlets. To locate trustworthy, accurate, and current information go to sites like Mayo Clinic, CDC and FDA.

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Thanks for this info. I am new to this Mayo group, having had a liver transplant August 1, 2020, just a few months ago. I have had these same concerns and will contact my transplant team when appropriate. So far, I have avoided COVID-19, but I am not currently working and taking precautions at the rare times I go out in public.

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@pinkyj

Thanks for this info. I am new to this Mayo group, having had a liver transplant August 1, 2020, just a few months ago. I have had these same concerns and will contact my transplant team when appropriate. So far, I have avoided COVID-19, but I am not currently working and taking precautions at the rare times I go out in public.

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@pinkyj, Welcome to Mayo Connect and Congratulations on your recent liver transplant. To have received your transplant during the pandemic has to have been quite challenging for you.
On Connect, we are patients, and we support each other by sharing our experiences. I want to thank you for mentioning your intention to seek advice from your transplant team. We have members from a variety of transplant centers, and with a variety of conditions and transplanted organs, and there will probably be a range of directives for every individual circumstance.

Pinkyj, How are you managing with your new post transplant living? What is it like for you to recover during COVID19?
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask? You are welcome to join in any discussion at any time. If you add the members @name (as I added @pinkyj) that person will be notified.

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Can anyone share if the Covid vaccines are safe for transplant patients? Are there any studies yet? Are we in the "vulnerable persons" category?

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@jolinda

Can anyone share if the Covid vaccines are safe for transplant patients? Are there any studies yet? Are we in the "vulnerable persons" category?

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I'm also very curious about this, I haven't heard anything yet and I will admit I'm concerned that based on what I'm hearing that the type of method there using is to try to get our immune system to basically produse a immune response to attack the virus. My concern is will it also cause an attack on our transplanted organ which is why we take anti rejection meds. I'm thinking that even tho they are testing on a lot of people does that include people in our catagory.
Blessings
Dana

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@danab

I'm also very curious about this, I haven't heard anything yet and I will admit I'm concerned that based on what I'm hearing that the type of method there using is to try to get our immune system to basically produse a immune response to attack the virus. My concern is will it also cause an attack on our transplanted organ which is why we take anti rejection meds. I'm thinking that even tho they are testing on a lot of people does that include people in our catagory.
Blessings
Dana

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Hi Dana & @jolinda
I too would be cautious about finding out the safety for transplant patients before taking the vaccine – I wonder if anyone in the Mayo transplant department knows if there have been transplant recipients included in any trial?
But my question is – since the purpose of all the vaccines like flu, shingles and pneumonia is to provoke an immune response, is the Covid-19 vaccine any different?
Sue

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@sueinmn

Hi Dana & @jolinda
I too would be cautious about finding out the safety for transplant patients before taking the vaccine – I wonder if anyone in the Mayo transplant department knows if there have been transplant recipients included in any trial?
But my question is – since the purpose of all the vaccines like flu, shingles and pneumonia is to provoke an immune response, is the Covid-19 vaccine any different?
Sue

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@sueinmn– Can I jump in here? This vaccine is different in that it introduces, for the first time ever on humans, the mRNA-based vaccine.(the molecule which tells cells what to build) genetic material called mRNA inside a special coating so other proteins won't attack it. Once produced within the body, the antigen is recognized by the immune system, preparing it to fight the real thing. mRNA can most easily be described as instructions for the cell on how to make a piece of the “spike protein” that is unique to SARS-CoV-2. Since only part of the protein is made, it does not do any harm to the person vaccinated but it is antigenic. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/mrna-vaccine-basics.html

DNA based vaccines use a weakened or synthetic material vs the mRNA which have the actual live virus. This is needed because SARS-CoV-2 is an unknown virus to our bodies and an immune reaction needs to be activated in order to make this happen.

Since I am not a science major I hopefully haven't mess this explanation up too badly!

Here is more information
http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/rna-vaccines-a-novel-technology-to-prevent-and-treat-disease/
https://www.phgfoundation.org/briefing/rna-vaccines

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