COVID-19 Vaccines for Immunocompromised People

Aug 20, 2021 | COVID News |

COVID-19 Update from the Nurse-Led COVID Vaccine Confidence Project

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). 

Why CDC updated their recommendation 

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness. Studies indicate some immunocompromised people don’t always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do, and may benefit from an additional dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19. Emerging data suggests that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection after two doses of mRNA vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. 

What you need to know

  • CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The third dose should be the same mRNA vaccine given for the first two doses, but if that product is not available or is unknown either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered.
  • A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses.
  • This FDA emergency use authorization and CDC recommendation only applies to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). It does not apply to Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Who needs an additional COVID-19 vaccine

The updated CDC recommendation includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

CDC recommends people talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

This toolkit was designed to help you decrease vaccine hesitancy and increate vaccination rates in your community.
CLICK HERE

 

This project was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number NU50CK000580). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource center do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.

 

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About The Author

Justin Gero, MS is the Senior Manager of Public Affairs for the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium.

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