Some Medically Vulnerable Texans Feel Left Behind as the State Returns to Normal

June 14, 2021 – Like many people who followed a strict quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, Kristen Patton hasn’t seen her extended family for more than a year.

But unlike other Texans who, like her, have been fully vaccinated against the virus, Patton’s life is not likely to go back to normal any time soon.

That’s because the vaccine, widely viewed as the ticket back to pre-pandemic life, doesn’t appear to be working for Patton, a 45-year-old Austin heart transplant recipient who takes medicine that suppresses her immune system.

Researchers in a Johns Hopkins University clinical trial Patton is taking part in for transplant patients say it could be that the medicines she takes to keep her body from rejecting the transplanted heart is interfering with antibody production and hindering her ability to become immune to the virus, she said.

For Patton and potentially millions of other medically vulnerable Texans,

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