Vaccine Response in Immunosuppressed

Skap Member Posts: 7
edited 16. Mar 2021, 14:23 in Chat to our Helpline Team

I have RA and take HCQ, Sulphasalazine and prednisolone 3mg.

I am taking part in a research study on covid. Last month they asked if my household would do monthly antibody tests.The tests detect antibodies from covid infection and also vaccine induced antibodies. The study is tracking how long they last.

My husband and I did the test 5 weeks after the first dose of vaccine (AZ).

He was negative for covid antibodies and positive for vaccine antibodies as we expected.

I was negative for both. So zero antibody response to vaccine.

There was a report last week about cancer patients not having an immune response to Pfizer. They found that the booster only worked if given earlier.

Since I was vaccinated because of ECV it’s quite a concern. 

The study are not interested in individuals they are tracking for statistical purposes.

I'm interested as to whether you know what research is being done specifically into those who are likely to mount less of an immune response?

I understand that shielding still continues etc. It's just that joy of being vaccinated has been somewhat destroyed by the thought that it may not work for me.


  • helpline_team

    Hi Skap

    Thank you for you post. I'm sorry to hear that you've had this concerning feedback on your antibodies following vaccination. I do remember a story on the news about recruitment to track the antibody response in people on immunosuppression drugs - cancer and arthritis drugs were mentioned I do remember.

    As ever with Covid 19, there seems to be ongoing uncertainty which people with arthritis are affected by.

    I will ask my colleagues in our Health Information team, to see what else we may know, but I fear results of these studies won't be known until later in the summer.

    If you'd like some informal support, do ring us or message us in whatever way you prefer.

    Kind regards

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,713

    This is the latest from Johns Hopkins (dated 15th March). It's not exactly comforting news for those of us who are immunosuppressed but I guess knowledge is power and, although I get my 2nd AZ jab on Saturday, I shall not be assuming I'm protected. It makes sense to ask for an antibody test but I doubt these will be as readily on offer here in UK as they are to our fee-paying cousins over the Atlantic.

    By the way, I'm not a member of the Helpline team, just an ordinary forum member.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • helpline_team

    Hi Skap

    We've found out a bit more about the research.

    The study is called the Octave study. The Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (in Glasgow) is involved and here's more about it:

    Read more about the study here.

    I realise that there will be a period of collecting information, before we hear more. Do come back to us if you'd like to talk this over.

    Very best wishes

    Guy - Helpline Team