Study Suggests Immunocompromised People Needn't Fear Vaccine Side Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says those who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of experiencing severe sickness and death as a result of COVID-19 infection. They recommend immunocompromised children age 5 to 11 receive three doses of the vaccine, and immunocompromised people age 12 and older receive three doses plus a booster.

To be immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, as defined by theĀ National Cancer Institute, means "having a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases." Cancer, AIDS, diabetes, some genetic disorders, and malnutrition can all contribute to a weakened immune system. Even some remedies that were designed to help heal can cause the immune system to be compromised. Certain medicines, radiation therapy, and stem cell or organ transplant are among those treatments. Therefore, it's not uncommon for people with a weak immune system to think twice about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, for fear of severe side effects, but a new study may help put those concerns to rest.

Those with impaired immunity experience low-vaccine side effects

In a study published on March 17 by Frontiers in Oncology, data concluded that both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are received well by people with a weak immune system. Between March 3 andĀ September 2, 2021, research was conducted on 566 vaccinated immunocompromised patients who had been diagnosed and were receiving treatment for tumors, cancer, rheumatological conditions, and neurological issues. The study showed that only 11 patients experienced severe symptoms after the first dose and just seven patients had severe symptoms after the second dose. There were two fatalities, but the study said they were not related to the vaccine.

Data showed that between 11.8% and 60.3% of participants suffered from minor side effects. The most common complaint was pain at the injection site, which 60.3% of participants experienced after the first dose, and 55.4% experienced after the second. The second minor side effect experienced was fatigue, which 30.1% of participants experienced after the first dose, and 41.7% experienced after the second. Bone pain was also experienced by 27.4% of participants after the first dose and 27.2% of participants after the second. The last minor side effect was headaches, which 11.8% of participants experienced after the first dose, and 18.9% of participants experienced after the second. All side effects were reported as manageable and did not significantly affect patient health.