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Vaccinated but Not Protected—Living Immunocompromised During the Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

My B cells love extracurricular activities. They are dedicated overachievers, passionate about their jobs. That’s how I think of them when I’m in a magnanimous mood, which makes me feel a little guilty for slaughtering them with rituximab. But I do since the autoantibodies they churn out make me so sick—and the relative absence of my B cells was a fact I didn’t dwell on too much— until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in force.

When I’m not seeing patients in the emergency department, I help train college students to go door-to-door to register people for the coronavirus vaccines, part of a racial justice project to increase vaccine coverage in the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Often I divide them into small groups to role-play conversations with community members. The effectiveness of the vaccines is one of the facts that undecided people find most persuasive, I’ve taught the students.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Lindsay Ryan, MD, San Francisco VA Medical Center– Medical Service, Bldg 203, Room 1A-87, 4150 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121 (lindsay.ryan@ucsf.edu).

Published Online: June 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9321

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
The state of the pandemic, and COVID-19 and immunosuppressed patients: special medical grand rounds. University of California, San Francisco, Department of Medicine. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7FY91kuBdM&t=2094s
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