Third Doses Advised, Available for Immune-Compromised

Governor Ned Lamont announced on Saturday evening that the state’s vaccine program will administer third doses of Covid-19 vaccines to those whose immune systems are moderately or severely compromised.

The announcement comes on the heels of a recommendation issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to allow the third dose. Neither the CDC’s recommendation nor the FDA action include the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“This recommendation will apply to a relatively small number of individuals in Connecticut and we do not anticipate any challenges with adequate vaccine supply,” said Acting Department of Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford.

The criteria

Those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are advised to receive a third dose of that vaccine. It should be administered at least four weeks after the second dose.

An immune system is considered moderately to severely compromised under these circumstances:

  • 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.

No prescription or referral needed

Governor Lamont said that, in line with federal guidelines, those with weakened immune systems as above are not required to obtain a prescription or a provider referral to receive the additional dose.

Those who meet the criteria can make an appointment or visit a walk-in clinic at any Covid vaccine provider location, including pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, or doctor’s offices. Anyone unsure about whether they meet the criteria should consult a healthcare provider.

Commissioner Gifford said, “We have a broad and strong network of vaccine providers across the state, including approximately 400 pharmacy locations, ready to administer additional Covid-19 vaccine doses in line with these recommendations.”

Also in Weston Today...