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Immunocompromised the focus of campaign featuring Jeff Bridges, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emily Gordon

September 16, 2022

A recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the fact that, among U.S. patients hospitalized with COVID-19, immunocompromised adults accounted for a disproportionately high percentage (12.2%) of hospitalizations compared to their share of the U.S. adult population (2.7%). These individuals also had higher odds of severe outcomes, regardless of vaccination status. In response, the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) joined forces with AstraZeneca for a new education campaign, Up the Antibodies, that profiles the journeys of Jeff Bridges, Emily Gordon, and Kumail Nanjiani, among others to raise awareness of the continued risk of COVID-19 to immunocompromised populations.

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani were nominated for an Academy Award for The Big Sick, a film loosely based on their relationship and Emily’s long journey to a diagnosis of Still’s disease and common variable immune deficiency (CVID). During a virtual discussion to announce the project, Gordon explained that “immunocompromised  people have been very much sidelined in this conversation,” but this initiative, produced in collaboration with the Immune Deficiency Foundation, is “just for us.”

Nanjiani adds, “At the start of the pandemic, I suffered panic attacks for the first time in my life because I was so worried about Emily, and now, while we have learned to navigate together, it never gets easier. Decisions are often made together, which is why it’s important for everyone to know that there is the option to add protection in addition to vaccines and boosters, wearing a mask, and social distancing to prevent COVID-19.”

To launch the campaign, Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges appears in a video discussing his fight first with lymphoma and then COVID-19, which he was exposed to in the time frame when he was receiving chemotherapy for cancer.

“A lot of the world is trying to move forward and put COVID-19 behind them, but people with compromised immune systems can’t do that yet,” said Bridges. “That’s why this partnership with AstraZeneca and Up The Antibodies is incredibly personal to me.”

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