New UW Study Examines COVID-19 Vaccines in People with Weakened Immune Systems

School of Medicine and Public Health News

The goal of the clinical trial titled Additional Recombinant COVID-19 Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immunogenicity in Immunosuppressed Populations, or ARMOR, is to determine whether a recombinant booster COVID-19 vaccine dose will improve sustained immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19 in people who live with inflammatory bowel disease, also called IBD, or solid organ transplant recipients and whose medical treatments involve staying on immunosuppressive drugs.

Participants who enroll in this trial will receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which is a recombinant vaccine and differs from the Pfizer or Moderna drugs in that it directs the immune system to recognize specific pieces of the virus.

Solid organ transplant recipients take medications to suppress the immune system in order to prevent acute organ rejection. Similarly, patients with IBD are often prescribed immunosuppressant drugs to treat and manage their conditions.

Studies have shown that those who receive immunosuppressive medications, like corticosteroids, are at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 if they are infected, according to Freddy Caldera, DO, MS, associate professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and gastroenterologist, UW Health. Read more…