What does ‘immunocompromised’ mean?
Immunocompromised individuals are now currently eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot. This vaccine, which would be the third dosage in the current course, aims to offer added protection against the coronavirus. Sam Fillingane discusses what immunocompromised means:
In simple terms, ‘immunocompromised’ means that the individual has a weakened immune system. This often makes it more difficult for the individual’s body to fight off infections, since the immune system itself is ill-equipped. There are numerous factors that could impact someone’s immune system in such a way. For example, someone may have an autoimmune disease — or they may be impacted by an immunosuppressant medication, which affects their immune system’s overall strength.
Immunosuppressants are medications that treat autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and multiple sclerosis. These forms of treatment stop the immune system from attacking healthy tissue; as a result, the immune system is weakened and suppressed. For example, chemotherapy is considered an immunosuppressant.