The FDA has revised the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for both Pfizer and Moderna to authorize the use of a 3rd dose of COVID vaccine in the setting of immune compromised patients.
Am I eligible for a Booster vaccine?
People who have moderate to severe immunosuppression qualify to receive an additional dose, usually because of an organ or stem cell transplant, HIV infection, steroid therapy, or certain cancer treatments that impair the body's ability to fight infections. It's important to know that not all cancer patients have a weakened immune system. Those cancer patients who are considered immunocompromised include:
- Patients being treated for blood cancers currently or within the last six months
- Patients who were within 12 months after treatment with B-cell depleting drugs (for example, rituximab or Rituxan®) at the time of their initial vaccination
- Patients who have undergone a stem cell transplant or received CAR T therapy within the last two years
- Patients being treated for solid tumors with chemotherapy—and some patients on immunotherapy —currently or within the last six months
Any individual without one of the above noted conditions does NOT qualify for a booster dose at this time.
Patients who received J&J are NOT eligible for an additional dose at this time. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received J&J also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.
How do I get the vaccine if I qualify?
Patients who meet the above listed criteria are encouraged seek advice from their health care provider to discuss risks and benefits.
If you have a visit scheduled in the UVMMC Hematology/Oncology clinic you may receive your vaccine during your visit. Otherwise, it is encouraged that you reach out to your PCP office or visit your local pharmacy. UVMMC is not offering vaccine clinics at this time.
When can 3rd dose be administered?
Third doses should be administered >28 days after the second dose.
What vaccine should be given as the 3rd dose?
Only patients who completed their primary immunization with either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines can receive the third dose. Attempts should be made to match the additional dose type to the mRNA primary series, however if that is not feasible, a heterologous additional dose is permitted (third dose can be different than primary series if unavailable). This means a patient that received Moderna for the first two doses can get Pfizer as the third dose if no Moderna doses are available as an example.