COVID-19 vaccine syringe and vials
Nataliya Vaitkevich via

“It was a beautiful March afternoon, and as June Tatelman walked her dog in her Boston neighborhood, she was flying high,” Elizabeth Cohen wrote over at CNN. “Tatelman had recently received her second dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, and the end of the pandemic was finally in sight. Maybe soon she could play with her grandchildren and return to her volunteer work helping children in foster care. Maybe in a few months, when her husband turned 75, they could go out to a restaurant to celebrate. As she walked, she ran into her family physician — who killed her buzz very quickly. To treat inflamed blood vessels in her lungs, Tatelman, 73, takes a drug that suppresses her immune system. Her doctor had been reading recent medical studies suggesting the vaccine might not work well for some people taking medications like hers.He asked her to get a blood test to see if the vaccine had worked — if she had antibodies against the virus. She did the test and had no detectable antibodies against Covid-19. ‘It was a total shock,’ she said.T atelman was now full of questions for her doctor. Did her low antibody levels mean the vaccine didn’t work? Should she get a third dose of the vaccine? Should she cut back on the drugs that suppress her immune system to give the vaccine a better chance of working? Was there anything else she could try to make a Covid-19 vaccine work for her? There’s very little data to help Tatelman and her physician answer these questions. Millions of other Americans are also taking immunosuppressive drugs that might weaken the effect of the Covid-19 vaccine, and they find themselves in uncharted territory, scared — with good reason — that their vaccinations might not have worked.If their vaccinations did not work, they rely on the rest of the population to get vaccinated.” Elizabeth Cohen, “Covid-19 vaccine: Millions of Americans might not have had an adequate response to shot,” CNN.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...