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WCM-Q Grand Rounds discusses vaccine responses in immunocompromised individuals

WCM-Q Grand Rounds discusses vaccine responses in immunocompromised individuals

Saturday, February 17, 2024/ Editor -  


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Doha – February 17, 2024: The Division of Continuing Professional Development at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) organized the latest installment of WCM-Q's Grand Rounds Live Webinar Series, titled 'Vaccine Responses in Immunocompromised Individuals.'


Immunocompromisation describes individuals with a weakened immune system and a higher risk of severe illness and infection since the body cannot effectively fight off viruses and bacteria. Individuals can be immunocompromised because of a medical condition or because they receive immunosuppressive medications or treatments.

The webinar was designed to create an understanding of the mechanisms of immunosuppressive medications, the impact of immunosuppressive medications on vaccine responses, and strategies to improve vaccine responses in immunocompromised individuals.


The session was attended by physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, allied health professionals, students, researchers, and educators.


Dr. Ayman Al Jurdi, a WCM-Q alumnus and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, gave a presentation in which he explained that immunocompromised individuals are at high risk of death from infections; that vaccine responses require interactions between APCs, T cells, and B cells; and that immunosuppressive agents have varying effects on vaccine-induced immune responses.


Dr. Al Judi, who is also a transplant and glomerular disease nephrologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and investigator at the MGH Center of Transplantation Sciences in the US, highlighted that the decision to delay immunosuppression to allow vaccination should balance the urgency of vaccination, the potency of the immunosuppressive agent, and the risk of disease relapse while delaying immunosuppressive therapy.


Dr. Al Jurdi said: 'Immunocompromised individuals carry an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from many vaccine-preventable diseases, making vaccination a particularly important topic. These individuals need to be thoroughly assessed to determine their level of immunocompromise, their vaccination history must be carefully reviewed, and a future vaccination plan must be developed. I believe that every health practitioner who is part of a patient's healthcare journey has a responsibility to have a clear overview of their patient's vaccination record.'


The lecture was accredited locally by the Ministry of Public Health's Department of Healthcare Professions Accreditation Section and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

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