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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Are people on immunosuppressive drugs more susceptible to severe Covid-19?

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
There is no indication that people taking immunosuppressive drugs should be concerned that their medication increases their risk for severe Covid-19, says Dr Caleb Alexander. Stock image.
There is no indication that people taking immunosuppressive drugs should be concerned that their medication increases their risk for severe Covid-19, says Dr Caleb Alexander. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/Alexander Raths

According to the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health research has found those who take immunosuppressive drugs do not fare worse than others, on average, when hospitalised with Covid-19.

This includes those who take medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, have a spleen that is not functioning properly, and those treating inflammatory or autoimmune diseases.

“There is no indication that people taking these drugs should be concerned that their medication increases their risk for severe Covid-19,” said professor of epidemiology Dr Caleb Alexander.

The researchers said generally those who are undergoing such treatments can take the vaccine, but suggest consulting a doctor to discuss specific cases. They said there is no specific data around how Covid-19 affects those without a spleen, but people who suffer from this are generally considered to be immunosuppressed.

“I would be more cautious with those individuals and more aggressive in their care. Those individuals would want to have more social distancing than the average person,” advised infectious diseases expert Dr Amesh Adalja.

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