Alabama Department of Public Health recommends third COVID-19 shot for people with weakened immune systems

Alabama

A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 to inoculate a minor at a vaccination center in Asuncion, on July 23, 2021. – Paraguay started to inoculate children and teenagers from 12 to 17 years-old with underlying diseases. (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

ALABAMA – The Alabama Department of Public Health says those with weakened immune systems should get a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The recommendation, which health officials made Tuesday, applies to those with weakened immune systems who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

ADPH said those with weakened immune systems represent three percent of U.S. adults, but 40-44 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, the recommendation does not apply to the general public or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. However, health officials said they were continuing to review data regarding a possible third shot.

Those who qualify for the third shot include those with medical conditions or who are receiving treatment associated with moderate to severe immune compromise, combined with one of the following situations:

  • Acitve or recent cancer treatment
  • Solid organ transplant or blood stem cell transplant
  • Severe primary immunodeficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV
  • Active treatment with biological agents that may suppress immune response (such as corticosteroids)
  • Persons with chronic medical conditions such as asplenia and chronic renal disease which may be associated with varying degrees of immune deficiency

Those seeking a third dose, which should be the same vaccine as the initial two-shot vaccine sequence – need to consult their doctor or primary care physician who can prescribe the third dose.

Alternatively, those seeking the third dose can go to a vaccine site and self-certify that they fall into the eligible population.

The dose should be administered at least 28 days after the two-shot vaccine sequence is completed.

ADPH recommended continued COVID-19 precautionary measures for immunocompromised people including wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others outside their households, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces until otherwise advised by a doctor or primary care physician.

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