Why is a booster dose needed?
How is this different from the previous direction for certain immunocompromised individuals?
What is the third dose?
Whether it’s a booster or an additional dose due to being immunocompromised, the third dose of mRNA vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna) will be identical to the first and second doses already received. This third dose would also be dispensed in the same way as the first two.
Who will receive an additional dose?
For the immunocompromised, they can receive their third dose of mRNA vaccine now, provided it has been twenty-eight days since their second dose. Fourteen days after the third dose, they will then be considered fully vaccinated.
For everyone else who has received their second dose of mRNA vaccine, the goal is for the roll-out to begin in early fall, which would be right at eight months after those first vaccinated received their second doses. From that point, people would become eligible in the eighth month following their second dose. Before this can start, the boosters need to be approved by the FDA and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The FDA is currently conducting its independent evaluation of the booster dose to confirm effectiveness and safety. The expectation is the FDA and the ACIP will announce their approval and recommendation very soon.
At this time, there is no further guidance provided after the first booster shot. The expectation is that the effectiveness of the boosters will be closely monitored, and further direction based on the current COVID-19 environment would be forthcoming.
Will people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also need a booster?
At this time, there is not enough data to confirm it, however, the CDC believes it’s likely that those vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid vaccine will need a booster dose. The first doses of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid vaccine came seventy days after the mRNA doses, so they expect to be able to make a recommendation on this soon. [ix]
How can we protect our communities?
As more studies and data become available, we can expect to receive updated guidance about boosters from the CDC, NIH, and HHS. Without a doubt, COVID-19 will continue to evolve with new and existing variants testing our mitigation and control measures. Our response must also continue to be flexible, determined, and resilient. Awareness and education about distancing, masks, and vaccination are the best ways we can prepare our communities. We have been on the COVID-19 frontlines since the very beginning, and we are ready to help you as a trusted partner in your ongoing effort to protect your community. Let’s talk.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- NBC Boston. (n.d.). Feds Call for Booster Shots for All Americans, Vaccination of Nursing Home Staff. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/us-announces-plan-to-offer-covid-booster-shots-for-all-americans/2469790/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2021].
- NBC Boston. (n.d.). Feds Call for Booster Shots for All Americans, Vaccination of Nursing Home Staff. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/us-announces-plan-to-offer-covid-booster-shots-for-all-americans/2469790/.
- NBC Boston. (n.d.). 3rd Dose of COVID Vaccine? What We Know About Booster Shots So Far. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/3rd-dose-of-covid-vaccine-what-we-know-about-booster-shots-so-far/2469819/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2021].
- NBC Chicago. (n.d.). FDA Approves 3rd Vaccine Dose for Immune-Compromised Ahead of CDC Meeting. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/extra-covid-vaccine-okd-those-with-weak-immune-systems/2589549/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2021].
- Oliver, S. and Meeting, A. (2021). cdc.gov/coronavirus Data and clinical considerations for additional doses in immunocompromised people. [online] . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-07/07-COVID-Oliver-508.pdf [Accessed 27 Aug. 2021].
- CDC and CDC (2021). COVID-19 Vaccination. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.
- outbreak.info. (n.d.).outbreak.info. [online] Available at: https://outbreak.info/situation-reports?pango=C.1.2&loc=ZAF&selected=ZAF [Accessed 16 Sep. 2021].
- The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa: a new lineage with rapid accumulation of mutations of concern and global detection – 24 August 2021. Available at: https://www.medrxiv.org/ .
By: Erik McLaughlin MD, MPH and Aikaterini Papadopoulou, B.Arch