Third vaccine dose recommended for immunocompromised people - will you get one?
Are you planning to get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
By A.J. Hanley, Countable News
What's the story?
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) green-lighted a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for some immunocompromised people.
Who are they, and what does that mean for you and your loved ones? Here's all you need to know:
Less than 3% of American adults are affected.
- The new recommendation is limited to certain moderately to severely immunocompromised people, including active cancer patients, stem cell and organ transplant recipients, and those receiving medications that cripple immune function.
- For this vulnerable population, the vaccine is significantly less effective than it is for adults with healthier immune systems. Studies show they’re at greater risk of a serious prolonged illness and death from COVID-19. Immunosuppressed adults represent 44% of hospitalized breakthrough cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory group.
- A third injection will better protect the immune-deficient population from COVID-19 and potentially shield them from the highly contagious Delta variant.
J&J hasn’t yet gotten the okay.
- Only the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for a third shot. There’s still not enough data to discuss the possibility of doubling up on Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
- Eligible individuals are advised to receive a third dose at least 28 days after the second dose, and to stick with the vaccine brand that was given to them initially.
The extra dose is not a booster shot.
- There’s been much discussion about a COVID vaccine booster, which would be designed to bring waning immunity levels back up eight months or more after being fully vaccinated. This additional dose of the vaccine is not that. Rather, it’s a supplement for immunocompromised individuals who have not mounted an adequate response after two doses.
Dose #3 is available now without a prescription.
- The honor system is in play, so it’s crucial to respect the rules. Check out the full list of eligible conditions on the CDC’s website. Then speak with your doctor or healthcare provider about your need for an extra dose and what the timing of it should be.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The CDC recommends people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised get an additional dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Those who qualify include:
- Active recipients of treatment for tumors or blood cancers
- Recipients of an organ or stem cell transplant within the last two years
- People with a severe primary immunodeficiency, such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
- People with advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Patients treated with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response
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