People who are immunosuppressed include people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. People with compromised immune systems were not included in large enough numbers in Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna clinical trials to determine how well the vaccine works for these patients or what side effects they might have.
Patients with compromised immune systems may be at an increased risk of getting severe COVID-19. Due to the potential increased risks of COVID-19 in these patients, the CDC suggests that patients proceed with vaccination, because the potential benefit outweighs possible risks at this time.
Prior to vaccination or receiving a booster, patients should talk with the doctor who treats their specific immunocompromising condition to further discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination, including whether the vaccine or booster might require special timing around the medications they take for their condition.
Follow-up antibody testing is not needed at this time. Patients with specific concerns should talk with the doctor who treats their specific immunocompromising condition. After getting vaccinated, continue to follow guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until we know more about how the vaccine reduces spread and how long protection lasts. These measures include wearing a mask, maintaining a safe 6-foot distance from others, washing hands often, and avoiding crowds.