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Friday, October 22, 2021

Third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine approved for those with a weakened immune system, according to Yolo County press release

FDA authorizes booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for various groups

Yolo County announced in a press release published on Aug. 20 that “emergency use authorization for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been expanded to approve a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 12 and up with moderate to severe immune compromise.”

Those who “believe that they are eligible should contact their health care provider for consideration of an additional dose,” the press release said.

Frank Schneegas, Communications Coordinator for Yolo County, explained that the doses are not being distributed through the county, and people should contact their health care providers.

“Yolo County isn’t administering third doses as we don’t have access to people’s health care records and third doses are for those who are immunocompromised,” Schneegas said via email. “Primary care providers are better suited to providing third doses as they can determine if an individual is eligible.”

The press release provides a list of “treatments associated with moderate to severe immune compromise” that individuals may be receiving.

These treatments include those who have “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” and have “moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, such as DiGeorge syndrome [and] Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.”.

Schneegas noted that “the list above has likely been updated by CDPH, but this is what was initially announced by CDPH.”

The press release also explains that the third dose should be “from the [same] vaccine manufacturer as the original series” if possible.

Additionally, the press release states how long after the second dose the third dose should be administered to individuals.

“A third additional dose of vaccine should be administered no sooner than 28 days after their second dose,” the press release reads.

At this time, the third dose is not available to those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or “to fully vaccinated individuals who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised” as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization.

“Studies of additional doses of Johnson & Johnson for immunocompromised persons are ongoing,” the press release reads.

These studies will help inform whether those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can obtain additional doses.

“The results of these studies will determine if and when additional doses of vaccines are needed for immunocompromised persons who received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” the press release reads. 

On Sept. 22, the FDA announced in a news release that the booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for some groups.

These include those aged 65 or older, those between the ages of 18 and 64 who “are at high risk of severe COVID-19” and those between the ages of 18 and 64 “whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19.”

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for the “use of a single booster dose, to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series” for the groups mentioned above.

More information regarding the authorization and data can be found in the news release.

For help with the “Yolo County COVID-19 program,” people can visit the website, call 2-1-1 Yolo for relevant resources and information or follow Yolo County on their social media, linked in the press release, for updates.

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — city@theaggie.org

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