- An Ohio man registered “not a single antibody” after four COVID-19 injections, according to CNN.
- Andrew Linder, who is immunocompromised, isolates and limits contact with people.
- The antibody test he did has some limitations as a proxy for immunity.
An immunocompromised man had an antibody test that was negative even after receiving four doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, CNN reported Tuesday.
“I had no antibodies at all. That was shocking and scary and it sure sucks,” Andrew Linder, a kidney transplant recipient in Akron, Ohio, told the network.
Not sure if he is protected against the coronavirus, Linder, 34, still stays home most of the time and strictly limits his contact with people other than his wife, according to CNN.
Linder takes immunosuppressants, drugs often used after transplants to stop the body from rejecting a new organ.
“I feel almost as insecure now or if not possibly a little more insecure than I did at the start of the pandemic just because I could get it right now,” Linder told CNN.
It wasn’t immediately clear how Linder rated his antibody level. One common way is through an antibody test, although these have been criticized as an imperfect tool.
The Food and Drug Administration does not recommend its use to monitor immunity.
Antony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the White House, previously told Insider’s Hilary Brueck that there are problems with them measuring whether the body has responded well to a vaccine.
One reason is that the body’s protection against the virus is complex, and the lack of measurable antibodies in the blood does not necessarily mean that the injections are not protective.
Some immunocompromised people, who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, are turning to the tests to give them a sense of reassurance that the shots have worked, Scientific American reported.
Vaccines remain the best protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19, even in immunocompromised people.
But early data suggested that two injections of vaccine might provide less protection for immunocompromised people.
A CDC study published last week found that two doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalization by 77% in immunocompromised adults, compared with 90% in immunocompetent adults.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most adults with compromised immune systems should receive up to four doses of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — the guidance is slightly different for those undergoing a first injection of the J&J received a vaccine.