The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is endorsing a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals.
All eleven members of the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of additional shots of the vaccine.
“At a time when the Delta variant is surging, an additional vaccine dose for some people with weakened immune systems could help prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 cases within this population,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
7 million people in the United States have compromised immune systems.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday authorized extra doses for people with organ transplants, cancer, HIV, steroid users, and those with weakened immune systems such as kidney disease and those who take immunosuppressive drugs. People twelve years old and over can receive an additional dose.
It should be noted that the additional shot is part of the primary vaccine series and is not a booster shot.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices says that the third dose should be from the same manufacturer as the first two.
According to The Hill, more than 1 million people have received unauthorized booster shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and 90,000 have received additional doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single dose.
Only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be available. The FDA did not include Johnson & Johnson because of the lack of data.
“While vaccination is likely to increase protection in this population, even after vaccination, people who are immunocompromised should continue to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they do not live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) to protect themselves and those around them against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider,” Dr. Walensky said.
CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.