San Antonio woman with rare clotting disorder awaits COVID-19 booster approval for immunocompromised

Doctor suggests noting medications to discuss how they could interact with a third booster shot for people with weekend immune systems

San Antonio woman with rare clotting disorder awaits COVID-19 booster approval for immunocompromised

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s Note: The video above aired before the FDA approved boosters for those with weakend immune systems. For more information, click here.

People with weakened immune systems could soon get a booster COVID-19 shot after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it Thursday night.

Angela Michelle was very protective of her health even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but since the novel coronavirus appeared, she says she stays home to stay alive.

“I have a clotting disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome, and that is what caused the stroke that I had in 2016,” she said.

The stroke caused her to lose her vision in her right eye and resulted in multiple pulmonary embolisms, which led to a rare form of pulmonary hypertension.

“I was supposed to have my balloon angioplasty on my lungs last May, 2020, and that got delayed and postponed because of COVID-19. So I’ve been waiting now, I think, 16 months,” Michelle said.

Her doctors haven’t told her if she should get the COVID-19 booster vaccine, but she hopes she can because she needs to fly for her surgery in a few months.

“I’m excited. I would love to get that booster because I am concerned. Did I even build up enough immunity of the first two shots and then the second. If I did, has it worn off?” Michelle said.

Dr. Kevin Kempf, with Rheumatology Associates of South Texas, says the booster shot would only apply to about 3% of the US population who are immunocompromised.

“We’re talking about a group of patients who have organ transplants, who have cancer treatment, or in my facility, it’s patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus or vasculitis,” he said.

He said the most important thing is to look at the medications you are taking and talk to your doctor about how those medications may counteract the efficacy of the vaccines if you are considering a booster.

“When you go back and give a third dose, you do get a better response. You seem to boost that response, and you’ll see detectable antibody levels, which means we hope that they’re going to be better protected than they are right now,” Kempf said.


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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Chandler Watson is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Originally from the Houston area, he graduated from Texas State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s of science in Mass Communication. Chandler is no stranger to San Antonio, as he’s worked here for 3 years prior to joining KSAT. He’s excited to bring you the stories of our community!