Fourth COVID-19 shot may be needed for immunocompromised, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those people who are immunocompromised may need to have a fourth COVID-19 shot for full protection against the coronavirus.

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The CDC updated its guidelines saying that some immunocompromised people 18 and older should get a third dose, not calling the shot a booster, claiming that people who are immunocompromised may not have a complete immune response after just two doses, CNN reported.

The third shot is a full dose for immunocompromised people, and the fourth would be a half dose booster, Axios reported.

The guidelines on the CDC’s website state:

“Moderately and severely immunocompromised people aged ≥18 years who completed an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received an additional mRNA vaccine dose may receive a single COVID-19 booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen) at least 6 months after completing their third mRNA vaccine dose. In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses.”

But for some, the CDC said people should speak with their doctors about the possibility of needing a fourth shot at least six months after getting the third mRNA dose.

People in active cancer treatment for blood cancer or tumors, some organ transplant and stem cell patients, people with advanced or untreated HIV and people on high-dose corticosteroids or other immune-suppressing medications should talk to their doctors concerning the fourth shot, CNN reported.

Approximately 9 million people or about 2% of the population could be affected, the CDC said, according to CNN.

Last week, the CDC authorized the mixing of coronavirus vaccine booster shots, no matter which pharmaceutical company — Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — made the initial dose, The Washington Post reported.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved children aged 5 through 11 to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC still has to approve the plan.

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