By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported Friday that some immunosuppressed people can now receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday amended the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
The third dose is only recommended for people with weakened immune systems, such as organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, HIV patients, and more.
IDHW said through a news release that it encourages those with weakened immune systems who have already received two doses of one of the vaccines to follow the recommendation and get an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The third dose must be given at least 28 days after a second dose.
There are no state requirements for proof of immune status, nor are there proof requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additional doses should be considered for people with “moderate to severely compromised immune symptoms,” according to the CDC. The compromise could be due to a medical condition or due to immunosuppressive medications or treatments.
According to IDHW, these conditions and treatments include but are not limited to:
- Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
- Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
- Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
Health and Welfare encouraged people with questions to visit their health care provider or the nearest vaccine clinic.
Several of Idaho’s seven local public health districts said Friday morning that they were waiting on guidance from the state and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
On Thursday, Gov. Brad Little urged all Idahoans to get vaccinated, stressing the importance of keeping infections down and kids in school.