The COVID19 pandemic has generally seen children co-operating with following necessary precautions. However, rampant misinformation circulating online has also had its toll on impressionable minds in the form of harmful anti-mask & anti-immunization (without medical reasons) attitudes. Moreover, stringent posturing, a chastising rhetoric and occasional confused messaging by some frustrated authorities w.r.t. COVID19 policies are only proving counter-productive.
COVID19 prevention has been a tough nut to crack especially in the Immunocompromised. On one hand, the COVID19 vaccines fell short in patients with moderate to severe weakening of immunity. This included kidney patients with advanced pre-dialysis state, those on dialysis and post-transplant. On the other, in certain kidney patient cohorts who did develop traceable immune response to the vaccines ended up with a flaring of pre-existing underlying autoimmune kidney diseases like IgA Nephropathy.
Then we have Evusheld ® – drug maker AstraZeneca’s new long acting monoclonal antibody combo shot. This antibody drug (generic name: AZD7442) was granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the USFDA on December 8th, 2021. With its “ready-made immune protection”, this long acting antibody (LAAB) drug shows promise in preventing symptomatic COVID19 in immunocompromised patients (just like vaccines do in immunocompetent). However, only time will tell how well it performs on-field. Read more here.
But then, amidst this steady inflow of pharmacological strategies to ward-off COVID19, if something has managed to survive it’s the utility of the humble face mask. Of-course, other COVID safe practices like following strict hygiene protocols and avoiding crowds go hand-in-hand.
So what works the best?
COVID19 vaccine inoculations are the best possible protection for most health profiles that science offers against this pandemic menace. However, as we know, COVID vaccines in their initially recommended dose schedules proved less effective in immunocompromised individuals. This was irrespective of whether poor immunity resulted from a medical condition or due to immuno-suppressive medication. Patients with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease & Kidney Transplant recipients are a prominent subgroup in this population subset of the “Vaccine Helpless”.
◾ So how did poor immunity in kidney patients impact vaccine effectiveness?
◾ Will repeated immune challenge with extra doses as part of primary vaccine series truly help all kidney patients? How tenable is it?
◾ Any better alternatives to garner adequate immune protection for our cohort without going overboard with the “immune challenge” and/or inviting side-effects of major concern?
Read on to decode the relevant science and understand your options for adequate immune protection against COVID-19.
(DISCLAIMER: The article is purely a medically feasible insight on current evidence from peer-reviewed scientific literature on COVID-19 vaccine efficiency, its shortcomings & potential relevant alternative pharmacological solutions w.r.t. patients with chronic kidney disease. The intention is to place the facts as they are with due respect to Science. It is not intended to promote any vaccine hesitancy or support anti-vaxxer views. It does not represent any political positioning either.)
Herd Immunity is gaining a lot of attention these days, as a potentially viable strategy to curb the highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic.
But do you correctly understand what Herd Immunity is? How does it work? Is it viable for COVID-19? What is the best way to achieve Herd Immunity against it – Natural infection or Vaccination?