Following recent announcements from the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain immunocompromised individuals can begin receiving third doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Missouri.
A third dose of the PfizerNBioTech or Moderna vaccines may be administered to moderately to severely immunocompromised people due to a medical condition or combination of immunosuppressive medication or treatments including but not limited to the following:
- Immunocompromised due to solid organ transplant and taking immune suppressing medications
- Immunocompromised due to active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
- Immune compromised due to Receipt of CAR-T cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
- Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (eg., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndromes)
- Immunocompromised due to Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Immunocompromised due to “Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress immune response: high dose corticosteroids (ie.,≥ 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blocker or other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory”
Individuals who do not meet the criteria for “moderately to severely immunocompromised” do not need a third dose at this time.
In line with federal guidelines, Missouri will use a self-attestation model for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Individuals will not be required to provide documentation of their health status, and they can get third doses at all venues where first and second doses are available.
This guidance does not apply to those who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses at this time. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. Individuals should wait at least 28 days between their second and third doses.
Announcements from federal health officials came after the analysis of studies demonstrating that immunosuppressed people are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, are at higher risk for prolonged infection, are more likely to transmit the virus, and experience lower vaccine effectiveness.
Additional information regarding this guidance can be found on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.
Interim clinical considerations for use of COVID-19 vaccines can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html.
Missouri’s revised standing orders can be found at https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/statewide-orders.php.