Covid-19 Vaccine

Conn. to Allow Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Dose for People With Compromised Immune Systems

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Governor Ned Lamont has directed the state to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that would allow people with compromised immune systems to get another COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Lamont said he is following the advice of the Conn. Dept. of Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford to direct the state's COVID-19 vaccine program to follow the CDC's recommendation and allow the administration of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine would be for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, he added.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to allow certain people with compromised immune systems to receive a third dose.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it has approved a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine for immunocompromised people.

The CDC also voted to recommend a third dose for people who have compromised immune systems.

Recipients of solid organ transplants and others who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are advised to get a third dose of the same vaccine at least four weeks after their second dose, Lamont added.

According to Lamont, people are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised if they are/have:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

The CDC's guidance does not apply to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Dr. Ulysses Wu from Hartford HealthCare shares more background on what the FDA's process for authorizing COVID-19 booster shots for immunocompromised individuals will mean.

“The Connecticut Department of Public Health will work with providers and the public to ensure that individuals who need a third dose can get one. Our vaccine providers stand ready to provide COVID vaccines in line with these updated recommendations," Lamont said.

A referral is not needed for anyone who is immunocompromised to get a third dose of the vaccine, Lamont said. If you meet the criteria for an additional dose, you can make an appointment or attend a walk-in clinic at any COVID-19 vaccine provider location.

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