Immunocompromised people are now able to receive COVID-19 booster vaccines

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain and COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, state, and in the Cape Fear, vaccine booster shots are now rolling out for some Americans.

The CDC recommends COVID-19 booster shots for immunocompromised people, saying they should get an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The CDC does not yet recommend additional doses or booster shots for anyone else. On August 18, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced it is developing a plan to administer it to those with compromised immune systems.

Carla Turner, New Hanover County Health and Human Services Assistant Health Director, says they have seen a positive response in the number of immunocompromised people seeking their third dose.

“We do have people calling, we have them showing up, and its — you self-attest. You say yes I do fit one of these, we don’t ask your personal information about that, we expect people to just be honest. So we have given some third doses to our immunocompromised population,” said Carla Turner, New Hanover County Health and Human Services Assistant Health Director.

Those who are considered immunocompromised are recommended to get a third dose because immunity from the vaccine may lessen over time.

“First of all, people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised tend to be more vulnerable to having prolonged illness related to COVID, and so we want to give them a little more immunity than they got with their first two doses,” said Carla Turner. “That dose should be given 28 days after they finish their second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna.”

Turner gave examples of those who are currently qualified to receive a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“When you come in you do get a list that the CDC put together as to what qualifies you as immunocompromised, and that is if you have active tumors or cancers, such as blood cancers, or you’re getting treatment for those, because those diseases, and the treatment for that tend to compromise your immune system. If you take high levels of corticosteroids that also can compromise your immune system, and so you would fall into that category as well. People who maybe have gotten an organ transplant, people who have advanced or untreated HIV,” said Turner.

Turner says the CDC is expected to recommend people who are not immunocompromised get a booster shot eight months after they got their second dose, and is projected to release this information sometime next month.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Top Stories

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