Current Covid Precautions for Transplant Recipients, August 2022

Posted by JK @contentandwell, Aug 22 10:53am

What are other transplant patients currently hearing from their transplant centers for Covid precautions? I know a transplant center is not about to say that you can drop a lot of the precautions, that would put them in a difficult position if a person did and then came down with severe Covid, but I have not heard anything from my transplant center for a while.

I'm feeling we are finally at a point where the risk is fairly similar to the flu. People who are vaccinated can still catch the flu, my niece's son had a severe case of it last year, and people who have comorbidities can still die from the flu so it is now fairly similar to Covid I think. We are still masking everywhere we go and have not eaten indoors at a restaurant yet. We have also avoided close contact with unvaccinated people since if they have been exposed they can carry a higher viral load.

What I am wondering is if those precautions are still a necessity. As cooler weather approaches I would love to be able to dine in restaurants again and to socialize with some relatives who for some reason chose to not get vaccinated.

Who really thought when Covid was declared to be a pandemic that we would still be living with this in August 2022? I knew it would take a while but it has taken much longer than I imagined. They say that's because of the people who did not get vaccinated, but I have no idea.
JK

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

Great question, @contentandwell. I moved your message to the Transplants group since it is transplant specific. I know this is where you'll get more responses from fellow recipients like @joko @emil @gingerw @hello1234 @scottij @cmael @athena73 and many more.

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@contentandwell Both my husband [kidney recipient] and I [blood cancer patient] are immune compromised. I have had two vaccinations plus two boosters, plus one dose of Evusheld [second dose next week]. Husband has had two vaccinations plus two boosters.

We choose to continue to mask up, and limit exposure to anyone, vaccinated or not. Regular hand washing/use of antiseptic sanitizer. We continue to monitor Covid levels in our county. While we would love to think risk is lower now, we cannot take any chances to find out that it isn't. We also feel comfortable getting tested whenever we feel there may have been exposure to an infected person or group. My husband will not fly, nor will I. He is more agreeable to attending crowded events, but I will not. We would rather be safe than sorry.
Ginger

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Hi @contentandwell 😊
I am a two year post kidney transplant patient (immune suppressed). I have a 92 year old father and 87 year old mother (vulnerable and immune suppressed because of age). I was vaccinated and boosted with no antibody response so I am relying on Evusheld for my protection against a severe outcome. (I know several people that caught covid after Evusheld, so it's definitely not bullet-proof). The oral anti-viral Paxloid is not an option for transplant patients if we do get sick. If I get sick, an expedited infusion of monoclonal antibodies and Regeneron in a hospital setting would most likely be on the menu.
My Florida community is experiencing a significant outbreak of infection among the vaccinated and boosted. This is going on nationally, which is why the FDA moved forward with the new Omicron variant booster coming available in a three weeks. My vaccinated and boosted uncle was hospitalized last week with the latest variant. I have no interest in getting sick. The cause of my original kidney failure was a common childhood infection that ended up in my kidneys and scarred the glomerular for life. Infection is not a good thing under any circumstance, but especially for an immune suppressed patient. I don't want anything to happen to my new kidney or me. I am wearing a mask indoors and gave up my FAVORITE hobby….eating out at restaurants. I think everyone has to make calculated decisions based on their personal risk factors and also how much risk they are willing to take for the activity they are interested in doing. If it's a milestone event or child's wedding it's probably a different risk/reward ratio than compared to grabbing a tuna sandwich with a friend in a busy diner. Every day, I go through this internal angel and devil discussion ("Is it worth it?) with myself and being careful always wins. 😊 I agree with @gingerw …it's better to be safe than sick (sorry).

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@contentandwell I’m glad you brought this up as I was wondering what others were doing also. I’m 11 years post kidney transplant. I did have some response to the vaccine (I’ve had 3 shots and 2 boosters) but that was quite a while ago. I still mask everywhere indoors. I haven’t been to any large gatherings indoors or out. I’ve missed many funerals and weddings because of this. I do eat outdoors on patios.
Just when I start thinking that I can ease up, something always happens that changes that. This week my daughter and her family were exposed at her in-laws home. Fingers crossed that they’re safe, but another week of no contact with them. My circle is so small. I keep thinking “will I ever feel safe again?”
I think everyone has forgotten about those of us that are compromised. It’s very hard for me to see friends and family, and just about everybody else, out living their best life while I’m just waiting. And waiting. And I feel bad for my husband who has to follow the same protocols to keep me safe. Oh well, a day at a time, I guess.

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@contentandwell I’m 10 months post liver transplant and still take many precautions- handwashing, masking, making choices about social activities, etc. I’ll have my 5th vaccine next month, had Evusheld. I have started to ease up where I go and always mask up no matter what. I went to the movies twice this summer after no movies for 3 years. I’ll go to outdoor concerts, plays etc but have gone to a couple of indoor ones with strong Covid protocols. I’ve gone dining indoors but minimally and only at unpopular times in certain spaces. I think of this as harm reduction, not hiding scared like I used to. I listen to the CDC with a BIG grain of salt as their recommendations are sometimes a political compromise and I don’t find them helpful in guiding transplant recipients or others with similar needs. I test once every other week or when I feel I should. I’m less afraid now, more flexible but still am really careful.

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@colleenyoung

Great question, @contentandwell. I moved your message to the Transplants group since it is transplant specific. I know this is where you'll get more responses from fellow recipients like @joko @emil @gingerw @hello1234 @scottij @cmael @athena73 and many more.

Jump to this post

Thank you, @colleenyoung. It sure did get some great responses.

@gingerw I think there is a real balancing act with this. We have been ultra cautious so far. My husband to protect me, although I think he is as vulnerable as I am because he's 87 years old now, a young 87. We have flown two times to visit our son in Denver, the big draw being that they had my first grandchild last October. We would not go to crowded events. Speaking of flying, interestingly my daughter flew to Mexico recently. On the initial flight to Miami she and her husband were the only ones masked. On the flight from Miami to Mexico, almost everyone was masked, and in Mexico there were many more people masked than there are around here. She did catch Covid though and was unable to join us on a family vacation. She figures she probably caught it on the flight home from Miami.

@hello1234 I have had the 3 vaccines which is the protocol for immunocompromised patients, plus two boosters. My antibodies were tested after my second booster and if they were not abundant enough they would have given me Evusheld but they were very strong! I actually wonder if it's possible that I had a non-symptomatic case of Covid, or a case with just light symptoms. I did have something last winter that seemed as if it could be Covid and I did have the test but it came out negative.
When I go out to stores or elsewhere I do mask up.

@mollyv We have been so very cautious and also not gone to any large gatherings. We actually did go to one, a memorial service that was to include dinner afterward but when we saw how crowded it was and that we were the only ones with masks on we spoke to the wife of the deceased person and explained and left before the service actually started.

@katebw I have gotten to the point that you are at, where I need to make decisions based on multiple factors. I would not go to an indoor show/concert because I would feel the need to be masked up the entire time and that to me would ruin my enjoyment but I am thinking that a restaurant that is well spaced, at a non-busy time might be OK.

I have reached a point where I feel like I have lost 2.5 years of my life and am already at a point where who knows how many years I have left? I will be 75 in September and heart problems abound in my family. So far one brother made it to 79 but other than him no one has lived to that age in my family. Ironically, he did not do much to take care of his health! I think the very strict restrictions we have been following are having a negative effect on me in other ways so it is a compromise. It's interesting to hear how others are dealing with it. I know if I ask my transplant team, or the infectious disease department at my transplant center, they will advise me to continue to live in a bubble but of course they have to say that. If they said anything else and a patient did catch a bad case of Covid they might be cast in a bad light.
JK

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My wife & I have debated this topic quite often .. we both are Seniors and soon to be grandparents.. We both have enjoyed hiking over last 20+ years. Last 2 years in a row we have cancelled our reservations to Yellowstone National Park.. (1st time – an elderly person from near YNP advised us to avoid Yellowstone as quite a few people were hanging around were having Covid… there was only one answer to that one (cancelation)
We have travelled all the Continents & I would like to visit some places again …as pretty much during the last 10 years prior to the transplant I was .. just following my wife.. sometimes with no energy .. sometimes with thoughts why are we doing this.
My wife tells me be patient.. give it a some more time and We WILL start traveling again ! by road not flying. In the meantime trying to keep fit to see if we add these events in our final part of the journey. We avoid eating out totally and Carry an insta pot and that works perfectly fine as the power consumption is only 800w any electrical outlet is good. We both acknowledge there is no straight simple answer to this covid issue .. This is our perspective.

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