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NIH seeks people with immune deficiencies for vaccine study

A woman looks at a laptop with a clinician on screen.

May 3, 2021—The first COVID-19 vaccine trials showed that the vaccines are safe and effective for most adults. But they did not include people with immune deficiency disorders. This is the case with most studies of new vaccines.

Because the risk from COVID-19 is so high, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with weakened immune systems can get a COVID-19 vaccine if they choose to. But scientists would like to know more about how the vaccines work in immunocompromised people.

Now the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is trying to answer that question. They're looking for 500 or more people to take part in a new study.

What it's about

The study will compare the immune system response to COVID-19 vaccines in people who have compromised immunity with those who do not.

It should help us learn more about:

  • How well COVID-19 vaccines protect people with immune disorders.
  • The benefits and potential risks of the vaccines in this group.

Who can join the study

You must be 16 or older and plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. (It's even OK if you've already been vaccinated.)

Researchers are looking for at least 400 people who have an immune deficiency. You can be born with a weakened immune system or develop one due to a health problem or treatment.

And they will also need at least 100 people without a weakened immune system to act as a control group.

What will you have to do?

Your part in the study may last up to two years after your final vaccine dose. And you can participate remotely or in person.

For the study, you will fill out surveys online. They will ask you about your health and any side effects you have that may be related to the vaccine.

You may also give blood and saliva samples. These will help the study team look for antibodies created by the vaccine.

Interested in helping?

If you think you may want to take part in this or another trial, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons for you. You can visit to get more details about this study.

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