COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for the Immunocompromised
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are now recommending a third dose or booster COVID vaccine shot for immunocompromised individuals. The decision was made especially for transplant recipients whose immune systems do not produce the same protective effect from the COVID vaccines as non-immunocompromised individuals.
Eligible individuals include those who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors 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 two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Moderate or severe 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 system.
Check with your physician to see if you fall into one of these categories.
Previous studies have indicated that immunocompromised individuals may build greater immunity after a third dose. Individuals with severely or moderately compromised immune systems are at risk for more serious illness from COVID. In fact, the vaccinated immunocompromised have accounted for a high percentage of breakthrough infection hospitalizations.
The third dose is designed to improve the immune response and lower the risk for severe illness. The CDC recommends that immunocompromised individuals wait at least 28 days after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.