Fourth dose of COVID vaccine recommended for immunocompromised people

Younger Adolescents Get Ready To Receive Covid 19 Vaccine
Matt Slocum

Licensed practical nurse Adrian McCain prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at a Montgomery County Office of Public Health vaccination clinic at the King of Prussia Mall, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in King of Prussia, Pa.,

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is being recommended for people with compromised immune systems. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers people moderately or severely immunocompromised if they 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 their immune system.

Everyone 12 and older is encouraged to get a booster shot (third dose) when they are eligible. Those who receive Pfizer or Moderna should get a booster five months after completing their series. Those who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months after their first dose. 

“COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, but some immunocompromised individuals don’t get strong enough immunity following their initial two-dose series,” said Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, Chief Science Officer for the Washington Department of Health. “Receiving an additional primary dose and a booster dose will help protect those who are more susceptible to the disease. Getting everyone up to date on all vaccine doses they are eligible to receive can also help protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”

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