People who have compromised immune system and have already been fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines, specifically Moderna or Pfizer can now opt for a third or booster shot for protection against the virus, health reports said.
According to NPR, the federal health agencies' decision this week is welcome news to many patients, as well as their doctors "who have been calling for this months."
59-year-old Pat Baele from Idaho, who's living with a liver transplant and is taking medicine that's suppressing his immune system said, he's really excited about the news. He added, he's planning to get his third jab within the coming week.
Data have shown that a lot of immunocompromised people like organ transplant recipients, as well as other son immune-suppressing medications, have had weak responses to the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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3rd Shot for the Immunocompromised
According to Dr. Marc Boom, who's operating Houston Methodist Hospital, for him, the authorization for booster shots could not have come soon enough for patients in the large transplant program of his hospital.
He added, they are immediately pulling in the immunocompromised, "getting them the doses." More so, he applauds the decision of the Food and Drug Administration, although he said the agency could have decided sooner, noting that countries such as France, Israel, and the United Kingdom have already made such a move.
The recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday have left some questions about precisely who is entitled to get a booster or additional dose and how can they get it.
First, it the reason for the reason immunocompromised people need to get a third shot needs to be clear. Studies have shown that one who has a compromised immune system puts him at a greater risk of severe infection and death from COVID-19.
Also according to research, the initial doses of the vaccine have less efficacy for those who have weakened immune systems that range from 59 to 72 percent, compared to 90 to 94 percent among those who don't have severe immune deficiencies.
How to Know If You're Immunocompromised and You Need a 3rd Dose
Some may not know if they are immunocompromised though they are suffering from a chronic illness, making them susceptible to severe COVID-19. Their condition makes them wonder if they should have a booster shot.
A lot of individuals may consider themselves at higher risk of getting a severe infection from COVID-19 because of age or preexisting condition and may consider a third dose of the vaccine.
However, for now, an additional jab is only recommended for those who meet the criteria of the CDC for being immunocompromised.
How Safe is a Booster Shot from the Virus?
There are lots of different reasons an individual can get "immunocompromised," as this report specified. It is frequently a combination of his age, health conditions, and the treatments and medications he's taking.
While studies show that a booster shot can enhance responses of the antibody in some people, it is generally guaranteed effective.
Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot warned during the ACIP committee meeting warned that immunocompromised people who are getting a third dose need to still be aware they're not necessarily safe from the virus.
She added, she thinks the reality is, these people will be safer, although still at tremendously high risk for severe illness and death. More so, all people they're spending time wee, should be vaccinated as well, for protection.
Lastly, the CDC also recommends that those getting the third shot get the same vaccine they got for their first two jabs. Therefore, if they initially got the Moderna or Pfizer on their first two doses, they should get the same for their third injection.
However, if that is not possible, the CDC said, an additional shot with another mRNA vaccine is allowed. At present, only Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for a booster dose. So, according to a Medscape report, those who were injected with Johnson & Johnson, are still not eligible.
A related report about the third shot for the immunocompromised is shown on ABC News's YouTube video below: