CDC Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People
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On August 13, 2021, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and therefore vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
People who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19. Currently, this includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood, including lymphoma and Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- 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
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Been in active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response
The CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine) after the initial 2 doses and do so at least 28 days after a second dose of either vaccine. The CDC recommends that the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses should be used for the third dose; but if the same vaccine product is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. The CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.
In addition to the recommendation regarding a third vaccine dose, the CDC urged that immunocompromised people (including those who receive an additional mRNA dose) should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune response to COVID-19 vaccination and the need to follow prevention measures including wearing a mask; staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with; avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider, The CDC also recommends that all close contacts of immunocompromised people should be strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination site, search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you. You can also check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available.
LRF encourages people to talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. Recognizing that members of our community may require additional education materials and services at this time, we want to encourage anyone in need of support to contact the LRF Helpline. The LRF Helpline is available to assist patients and their loved ones so that they can feel empowered to make the most informed decisions about their treatment and long-term care. The Helpline team can also connect patients to financial assistance, legal, and insurance resources. You may contact the LRF Helpline at 800-500-9976 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your lymphoma-related questions Monday through Friday from 9:30 am – 7:30 pm Eastern Time (ET).