Vaccine Update, From Allegany Co Public Health

August 18, 2021

From Allegany Co Public Health:

News Release: FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Dose for Certain Immune Compromised Individuals

The FDA has recently authorized an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine for certain immune compromised individuals. This amendment applies only to Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, not Johnson & Johnson. The additional dose should be administered at least 28 days after the completion of the primary two dose series. People with immunocompromised conditions include:

• Active or recent treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
• Receipt of solid-organ or recent hematopoietic stem cell transplants
• Severe primary immunodeficiency including asplenia and renal disease
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory
The FDA and CDC authorized the additional third dose because immunocompromised people are more likely to have breakthrough cases, accounting for 44 percent of hospitalized breakthrough cases in the US. Lower vaccine effectiveness was another reason with 59-72 percent effectiveness among immunocompromised people vs. 90-94 percent among non-immune compromised people after the second dose.

Emerging data suggests that an additional dose will enhance overall vaccine effectiveness in immune compromised individuals. This is different from a booster dose, which is needed when the initial vaccine series is effective, but immunity may wane over time. The FDA and CDC have not yet established a timeline for a COVID-19 booster shot and information on that will be coming soon.

For more information regarding whether or not you are immunocompromised, please speak with your Primary Care Physician or search online for “general best practices for vaccination of people with altered immunocompetence.” The Allegany County Department of Health will release more information when we have vaccination clinics available for the additional third dose for immunocompromised individuals.