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COVID-19 Vaccines (3rd Dose) for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a third dose of the vaccine for immunocompromised people.

Below are the new guidelines from the CDC pertaining to COVID mRNA (Pfizer & Moderna) Booster vaccinations.

What You Need to Know

  • People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
  • People who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19.
  • CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine?

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This 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

Other Considerations:

  • There must be 28 days or greater between the 2nd dose and the 3rd dose.
  • The 3rd mRNA dose should be the same as the first 2 doses, however if it is not available then either product may  be administered.
  • People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

What are the risks of vaccinating individuals with an additional dose?

There is limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy, and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated. So far, reactions reported after the third mRNA dose were similar to that of the two-dose series: fatigue and pain at injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate.

For additional information please visit the CDC website here.