SIDNEY — An additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can now be administered to a small group of immunocompromised individuals following completion of a primary mRNA vaccine series, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other fully vaccinated individuals do not need an additional vaccine dose at this time.
Why do immunocompromised people need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
For a vaccine to protect you, it must activate your immune system. In some immunocompromised patients, this ability is impaired, so a third dose can boost the immune response.
According to the CDC, among severely immunocompromised people who had undergone solid organ transplant and had virtually no protection after receiving two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, 30 to 50% developed antibodies protecting them from COVID-19 after getting an additional dose.
Who is eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?
People who have moderate to severe immunosuppression qualify to receive an additional dose, usually because of an organ or stem cell transplant, HIV infection, steroid therapy, or certain cancer treatments that impair the body’s ability to fight infections.
Patients being treated for blood cancers currently or within the last six months
Patients who were within 12 months after treatment with B-cell depleting drugs (for example, rituximab or Rituxan) at the time of their initial vaccination
Patients who have undergone a stem cell transplant or received CAR-T-cell therapy within the last two years
Patients being treated for solid tumors with chemotherapy — and some patients on immunotherapy — currently or within the last six months
These eligibility criteria cover the most common indications, but please consult your medical provider if you are uncertain if you meet criteria to receive the additional dose.
These additional doses for immunocompromised persons should not be confused with booster doses. At this time, booster doses are not authorized or recommended for any individuals.
When should eligible patients get a third dose?
If you meet the criteria, you can receive a third dose 28 days or later after completing your first vaccine series (doses 1 and 2)
Which vaccines can be used for a third dose?
Only patients who completed their primary immunization with either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines can receive the third dose. Wilson Health will offer the same vaccine brand to patients as they previously received. Mixing vaccines is not permitted at this time.
The CDC has not made any recommendations yet for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
How can I get the additional third dose vaccine?
Wilson Health will offer third dose COVID-19 vaccinations at their Main Campus located at 915 W. Michigan St. in Sidney, Ohio. Patients can enter through the Outpatient Services entrance (Door 18). Starting Aug. 18, patients can walk-in between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and receive the additional third shot if they meet the eligibility criteria.
No appointment is required. These clinics will take place every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until further notice.
For more information visit: www.wilsonhealth.org/covid-19