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COVID-19 Q&A: July 2021

July 28, 2021

The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) hopes the following information will provide answers to any new questions that may have come up recently about the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that COVID-19 information is constantly changing and IDF is doing its best to provide you with the most accurate information available from trusted sources. 

IDF recently held a PI Conference where you can view recorded sessions once you register, including one about COVID-19, until December 31, 2021. Click here to find more information about the conference as well as the recorded sessions.

Click here to see IDF's recent COVID-19 Forum.

You may also be interested in reading this article.

What does it mean if I do or don’t have side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

Mayo Clinic provides a good answer to this question.

Why do I feel better after receiving a COVID vaccine?

There isn’t yet an answer in regards to why some people feel better after receiving a COVID vaccine, but it is being researched. Information is available at the following link.

Are there COVID studies to find out how the vaccine works in patients who are immune deficient?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has begun a scientific study to look at immune responses to the COVID vaccine in patients with both primary and secondary immune deficiencies who have not yet been vaccinated. Information is attached to this email.

Will I make antibodies to COVID-19 after receiving a vaccine?

There is still a lot to be learned about how the COVID-19 vaccines work in immunocompromised individuals and how post-vaccination antibody tests should be interpreted. Therefore, doctors are not yet able to tell their patients whether the antibodies measured are at a protective level.

After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, should I be tested?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that people not get an antibody test after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The thinking here is, the individual might “think” they are protected and not be, which provides a health risk for them and others. Additionally, as mentioned above, it is still being determined how post-vaccination antibody tests should be interpreted. The CDC also notes that no vaccine is 100%.

Another concern about antibody testing is the worry created when an individual has post-vaccination antibodies levels tested and the result is a low level of antibodies or none at all. Since there are other components of the immune system involved in fighting COVID-19 that aren’t being measured/not easily measured, these components might be providing protection to the patient.

Even though the CDC is not recommending testing you might want to check in with your doctor since they understand your health history or might be involved in a study.

I want an antibody test anyway. How long should I wait after the final vaccine to check antibodies?

You should wait at least two weeks after a one-dose vaccine or two weeks after the final shot of a two-dose vaccine to get an antibody test so your body has the chance to produce detectable antibodies. Getting tested before your body has built up its immune response may result in a test that shows no or low antibodies.

Is there a commercially available test to see whether a person has produced a protective level of COVID antibodies post-immunization?

Both Quest and LabCorp offer semi-quantitative IgG antibody tests that can help to identify whether a person is producing enough IgG antibodies. Testing for neutralizing/protective antibodies is a research tool not available unless in a study. There are NIH studies taking place in this area.

I’ve received a COVID vaccine and didn’t make antibodies. How can I have my t-cell response tested to see if I’m protected from COVID?

At this time, there are no commercial entities measuring t-cell responses to COVID. Currently, T-cell responses are only being measured by research protocol/studies. In addition, at this point, we do not know how protective a T-cell response may be in patients with PI since data is just now being collected.

When will COVID-19 antibodies be in immunoglobulin?

Some manufacturers are reporting “detectable” levels of COVID-19 antibodies in immunoglobulin replacement therapy. However, it is not yet known what kind of protection Ig replacement therapy will offer or when there will be enough antibodies in the products to offer protection. Only time and additional research are going to provide an answer as the variants are constantly changing things. When information is available about Ig therapies, the manufacturer will share it with the public and IDF will forward that information to the PI community.

How to move forward with the change in mask guidelines:

Click here for information from IDF regarding the changing mask guidelines.

CDC Links

CDC: Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Teens

CDC: Information about the Different COVID Vaccines

CDC: Vaccine Considerations for People with Underlying Medical Conditions

CDC: Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccines Work

CDC: Post-vaccination Guidelines


PLEASE NOTE: This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen concerning your or your family's health.

Please contact IDF if you need additional information or support.