Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for certain individuals
August 19, 2021
OLYMPIA—The Washington State Department of Health announced that a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are now being recommended to certain immunocompromised individuals, following recommendation front the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
The third dose will not be considered a booster but an additional vaccine for immunocompromised individuals who may not have developed adequate immunities in the two-dose series of the vaccines. Authorized vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective in protecting against most variants of COVID-19.
According to a press release provided by the DOH, emerging data suggests that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems do not always build the same amount of immunity compared to non-immunocompromised individuals.
“A third dose of Pfizer or Moderna will provide those who need it extra protection and help shield some of our most vulnerable from the highly contagious delta variant,” said Secretary of Health, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “Science continues to show vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Anyone receiving a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should wait at least 28 days after their second dose. If possible, the third dose should be the same brand as the first two doses, but a different brand of the mRNA vaccine will provide protection. No additional dose is recommended for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Individuals with competent immune systems do not need a third dose, according to DOH.
While vaccination is likely to increase protection, people who are immunocompromised should continue to wear a mask, maintain 6 feet of social distancing, avoid crowds, and avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces to protect themselves and those around them. Close contacts of immunocompromised people are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help place a bubble of protection around them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, immunocompromised individuals that are being encouraged to get a third dose to include individuals 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 two years or are taking medication 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
The CDC recommends consulting with your healthcare provider to see if an additional dose of the vaccine is appropriate. More information, including links to studies regarding the vaccine and immunocompromised individuals, is available at http://www.cdc.gov.