Do you need an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose?

Last Friday, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the authorization of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for some people who are immunocompromised. This additional dose would be for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (for persons aged ≥12 years) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (for persons aged ≥18 years) after the initial 2-dose series. The current recommendation does not include additional doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or for non-immunocompromised people. Those who qualify for the additional dose include people 12 years of age and older with a medical condition, including:

• Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies

• Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy

• Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)

• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

• Advanced or untreated HIV infection

• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory Individuals with weakened immune systems may not develop adequate immunity following vaccination.

These individuals are also more likely to develop serious illness with COVID-19 and may spread the virus to others in their home. Adding an additional dose to the series for immunocompromised people could help better protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The third dose of Pfizer or Moderna should be administered at least 28 days after completion of the initial 2-dose vaccine series. This additional dose should be the same vaccine product as the initial series as well. If the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. A person should not receive more than three mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses. If you have questions regarding if this is appropriate for you to receive, you should talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition. Marquette County Health Department continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines through weekly clinics. Please visit our website at www.co.marquette.wi.us and click on COVID-19 Information to find our schedule of clinics. If you, or someone you know does not have access to the internet, please call us at 608-297-3135.