In alliance with updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hamilton County Health Department recommends that immunocompromised individuals receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses.
Officials said, "Studies indicate that moderately to severely immunocompromised people do not always build the same level of immunity after vaccination as non-immunocompromised people and may need additional protection against COVID-19.
A third vaccination is not recommended for any other population at this time, and it is advised that no one receive more than three vaccinations.
"This recommendations applies only to those who have received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine; there is not currently enough data to determine whether those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get an additional dose. Immunocompromised individuals are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider to decide if getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
"People at risk of being moderately to severely immunocompromised include those 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 2 years or are taking medicine 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
"An additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should be administered at least four weeks after the second dose of the vaccine. The third dose should be the same manufacturer as the first two vaccines received. Per the CDC, if the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered."
To search for providers offering a specific brand of COVID-19 vaccine, visit vaccines.gov/search/.
Upcoming Health Department Vaccination Events:
The Hamilton County Health Department is currently offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and is able to accommodate immunocompromised individuals wishing to receive an additional dose, as well as anyone needing a first or second dose of the vaccine. Free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination events are occurring at multiple locations this week. No appointment is necessary, and anyone 12 years of age and older is eligible. Visit vaccine.hamiltontn.gov and click on “Vaccine Calendar of Events” to see the most up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine calendar. To accelerate the vaccination process, print and complete the vaccine encounter form available on the website.
The COVID-19 Hotline is available to assist with COVID-19 vaccine inquiries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 423-209-8383.