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Immunocompromised People Will Have to Wait a Little Longer for a COVID Vaccine- Here’s Why

The novel coronavirus cast a shadow of despair on the world and left billions unhappy. In theory, the main elements that bring joy to our lives: physical health, social connections, employment, and income, all got severely threatened when the virus loomed at large.

Fortunately, after months of strenuous research, vaccines have finally been produced, which is the ray of positive light that we’d all been waiting for. However, according to the latest data, the situation may remain a little bleak for immunocompromised people for a little longer.

Shutterstock | The vaccine will not be effective for everyone

Dealt a Band Hand, Indeed

People suffering from a weak immune system pose a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. This group of people includes those with HIV or cancer, as well as recipients of bone marrow, or people taking medical substances to suppress the immune system.

For thousands of immunocompromised people, waiting for almost a year brought no positivity, even after a couple of major pharmaceutical companies has released vaccines.

Why Not Suitable for Immunocompromised People?

Before the manufacturing process, all vaccines are put through clinical trials, which the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) carefully study before giving approval. Thus, the initial trials of the coronavirus vaccine have been carried out on the “general population”, which consists of healthy adults, both older or younger. Additionally, people with carefully-controlled health conditions like heart disease or diabetes were also included.

Shutterstock | High-risk groups will have to stay in isolation for longer

Consequently, the trials excluded vulnerable and high-risk groups, which include the immunocompromised, pregnant women, and children. The plan, it seems, is to release the vaccine for the general population first. Once it passes as safe and effective, a new vaccine can be created specifically for high-risk members of the society.

The Slightest Good News

Assistant professor and infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Edward Jonez-Lopez, believes that emergency approval, manufacturing, and widespread distribution of the vaccine will benefit high-risk groups as well, through a phenomenon called “herd immunity”, or “community immunity”.

The theory suggests that if the vaccine is taken by 70 to 75 percent of people in a certain location, the spread of the deadly disease can be significantly controlled, thereby reducing the risk for immunocompromised people, too. Naturally, this benefit is dependent on the number of people who opt to get vaccinated.

Furthermore, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, states that even people with weak immune systems should opt to get the vaccine. It might not be specifically targeted to them, and we are unsure of the degree to which it would work but, some level of protection is better than no protection, claims the expert.

Shutterstock | Get vaccinated, even if you’re in the high-risk group

However, it is best to check in with your doctor first before self-medicating yourself with the vaccine.

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