Moderately or severely immunocompromised people are eligible to receive a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.
People with certain health conditions who have received three doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine could get another jab in six months, according to the new guidance.
“In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses,” the agency said.
The agency authorized a third dose for people with certain health conditions in August, citing data that indicated that a two-dose regimen might not produce a sufficient immune response for them.
For these populations, the fourth dose of an mRNA-based jab is considered the booster; for the general population, the third jab is considered the booster.
Those who are immunocompromised and initially received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are recommended to get a booster two months after the vaccine. Currently, they’re not eligible for a third or fourth dose.
Moderately to severely immunocompromised people include those who are in active cancer treatment for cancers of the blood or for tumors, certain organ transplant and stem cell recipients, those with advanced or untreated HIV as well as those who take a high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune systems.
A study from Johns Hopkins University found that vaccinated immunocompromised people were 485 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than most vaccinated people, CNN reported.