While United States is seeing record high Covid-19 numbers since the start of the new year, health experts and health officials continue to push for vaccination and booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccines for those eligible.
Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus easily evades every type of protection when it comes to infecting people because it has more than 30 mutations in its spike protein. According to the ongoing studies which are still in their early phases, Omicron evades those fully vaccinated, boosted and even those who had recovered from the virus and have natural immunity.
So far, majority of the Omicron cases developed mild or no symptoms at all. Those who don’t have immunity are still at greater risk of developing severe condition and that’s why health experts are pushing for vaccination. The current vaccines provide exceptional protection when it comes to hospitalization and death, especially to those who have received their booster dose.
Unfortunately, there are people who can’t develop protection against the virus, for one reason or another, even after receiving multiple doses of the currently available Covid-19 vaccines. The 49-year-old S. Ricks of Texas, who had a kidney transplant few years ago and is considered immunocompromised, decided to take 5 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and still hasn’t developed a measurable number of Covid-19 antibodies.
According to Inside Edition who interviewed Ricks, she decided to get vaccinated against Covid-19 last January as soon as the vaccines were available to her. She took the first Moderna shot in January, and the second one four weeks after the first one. But after each of the shots, Ricks says that tests showed she did not develop a measurable amount of antibodies.
According to a study conducted last spring on organ transplant recipients by Johns Hopkins Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 46% of participants had no detectable antibodies 29 days after their second shot.
Since she is considered immunocompromised, Ricks decided to go step further and got her third dose, Johnson & Johnson vaccine in June on her own, much sooner than booster doses of the vaccines were rolled out to some groups of people. But still, she didn’t develop Covid-19 antibodies.
Ricks didn’t stop there and decided to get fourth and fifth doses of the vaccines in July, but things got trickier since she was already in the system showing her prior dosed of the vaccines. She somehow managed to convince the pharmacist to give her the extra Pfizer shots with the doctor’s note showing no antibodies in her system.
“She kept saying, ‘There’s no clinical data here,’” Ms. Ricks recalled. “And I said, ‘Hey, I am the clinical data.’”
Getting extra shots seems to have worked for some — to a degree. After Ms. Ricks’ fifth shot, her doctor sent her a note stating that she had developed a “moderate” antibody response but “still not a typical response.” She has continued taking extra precautions as if she is unvaccinated, the New York Times reported.
Researchers say some immunocompromised people — depending on their condition and the medications they take — may never generate an immune system response, no matter how many shots they receive.
With the Omicron spreading across the country lately, Ricks said she doesn’t feel safe at all despite receiving five doses of the Covid-19 vaccines of all three available manufacturers.