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Bowel disorder drug reduces Covid-19 vaccine response

Date: 28 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


A research has found that a commonly used drug for inflammatory bowel disease can reduce the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccine.



  • The drug is an anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) biologic drug known as infliximab and has shown to have reduced the anti-body response of Pfizer-BioNTech or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • Anti-TNF drugs are mostly used for the treatment for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases that can suppress the immune system.

  • Suppressing the immune system will directly affect the efficiency of vaccines that rely on antibody response to reduce infection.

  • The research also says that alternative treatment drug known as vedolizumab is more likely to fare better in generating antibody response.

  • A vaccine can only be effective if it shows ability to target disease causing viruses and prevent any subsequent infection.


The outcomes

  • Only about one-third of participants showed adequate number of anti-bodies after being treated with infliximab drug.

  • Participants taking infliximab and immunomodulator drugs simultaneously showed even lower levels of antibodies after the first dose.

  • The subsequent research showed that people taking infliximab after second dose had significantly higher amount of antibodies.

  • There was also a recommendation that individuals taking anti-TNF drugs should be considered priority for the second dose.