CDC has recommended third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to certain specific conditions:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization for both mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, for immunocompromised individuals. This authorization covers people ages 5 and up receiving treatments associated with moderate to severe immune compromise. This includes individuals who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
Please note: third doses are not available as walk-ins or at mobile/pop-up clinics.
You may also contact your local pharmacy or health care provider to learn about their process for providing third doses of vaccine.
The FDA and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) have carefully reviewed data from recent vaccine trials related to antibodies in specific individuals. The results from these trials have shown people who are immunocompromised in a manner similar to those who have undergone solid organ transplantation have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases. They are especially vulnerable to infections, including COVID-19. The administration of additional vaccine doses has been shown to increase protection in this population.
Persons whose level of immunity after an initial series of vaccine is weak, such as immunocompromised individuals, are being offered additional doses to strengthen their protection.
California will follow the guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC. ACIP will take the FDA modifications to the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorizations and create current channels based on current evidence of effectiveness and safety.
This authorization covers people ages 12 and up who are solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have a moderate or severe level of immunocompromise. Verification of immunocompromised status will not be required. Your medical provider can help clarify if you meet the threshold for immunocompromised or not.
The additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be administered at least 28 days after completion of the primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. Whenever possible, mRNA COVID-19 vaccination doses (including the primary series and an additional dose) should be given at least two weeks before initiation of immunosuppressive therapies.
When possible, individuals should receive an additional vaccine dose from the same vaccine manufacturer as their original series. Meaning, if an individual received the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine initially, they should receive an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech if available. When the same brand is not available, a person may receive the other brand.