People Who Are Immunocompromised and COVID-19 Vaccines: FAQ

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised make up about 3% of the adult population and are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.

CDC recommends people who have compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Who needs an additional COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who 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
  • Asplenia (absence of a spleen)
  • Autoimmune conditions (like psoriasis) treated with Humira, cyclosporine, or similar medications
  • Active treatment with daily steroid medication or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

I meet the criteria. How do I schedule an additional dose of the vaccine?

If you meet any of the above listed criteria, then schedule for a booster. The criteria will be reviewed with you at your vaccination appointment to make sure you are eligible. Here is how to schedule:

Can I mix and match vaccines?

For people who received either Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, a third dose of the same vaccine should be used. No one should receive more than three vaccine doses. If the type of vaccine received for the first two doses is not known, either Pfizer or Moderna may be administered.

What if I received the J&J/Hanssen vaccine?

The CDC’s recent recommendation only applies to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). There is not enough data at this time to determine whether people who are immunocompromised who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.

Questions about whether you meet the criteria?

If you have questions about the criteria, please schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or the primary specialist involved in your care.

Where can I find more information?

Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

This information has been adapted from content sources: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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