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Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

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Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

On Thursday, August 12th the Food and Drug Administration approved a third dose of mRNA vaccine for immunocompromised people that have previously completed a two-dose series. Studies found evidence of reduced immune response to a 2-dose series in some groups of immunocompromised people. Immunocompromised people also may have a higher rate of breakthrough infection than the general population, prompting this new recommendation.

The third dose is intended for those that are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Some examples of conditions or treatments listed by the Center for Disease Control include but are not limited to:

  • 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 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppressive therapy).
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents, tumor-necrosis blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive.

Some other considerations prior to receipt of a third dose of an mRNA vaccine are as follows:

  1. Use of an additional dose of an mRNA COIVD-19 vaccine apply only to people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Age alone is not an indication for a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. The additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose should be the same vaccine product as the initial 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 primary vaccine series. If the vaccine given for the 2-dose series is not available, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered.
  3. A person should not receive more than three mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. The third dose must be given at least 28 days after the completion of the 2-dose primary series.
  5. The age-eligibility for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has not changed. Moderna may be given to individuals aged 18 years and older. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may be given to individuals 12 years of age and older.

If you believe you have a health condition or are undergoing treatment that would indicate a need for a third dose of mRNA vaccine, please contact your health care provider to discuss the need and/or timing for a third vaccine. Upon HCP recommendation, a third dose of mRNA COVID vaccine can be scheduled. Both mRNA vaccines are currently available at Myrtue Medical Center’s Public Health office (phone number 712.755.4422) and at Myrtue Medical Center’s Rural Health Clinic in Harlan (phone number 712.755.4444).