APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Food and Drug Administration have amended its emergency use authorizations to allow for and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended the use of a third coronavirus vaccine for those with weakened immune systems.
“Cancer treatments or people with organ transplants or HIV and AIDs patients,” says Chief Clinical Officer at ThedaCare Dr. Mark Cockley.
Doctors say there’s a specific reason medical professionals targeted this group for a third vaccine.
“They (people with weakened immune systems) wouldn’t develop a significant immune response (after one dose of the vaccine) like others would or it would last less time,” says Dr. Cockley.
“We’re trying to give them an extra boost,” says President and CEO of Prevea Health Dr. Ashok Rai.
The third shot is only for those who have gotten the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorization to allow for its use Thursday and the CDC recommended it Friday after one of its advisory boards recommended they do so.
Those who want to get the third vaccine will not have to get a doctor’s note or blood test done to prove they have a weakened immune system.
According to a study cited by the Associated Press, Canadian researchers this week reported 55% of transplant recipients given a third dose two months after standard vaccination had good antibody levels compared to 18% who were given a dummy third shot for comparison
There are a few more steps in the approval process that need to happen before you can go to your local health department and get your third shot.
In terms of how long it will take to go through all the approval steps, one health department official said over the phone they expected approval to be done by early next week while others said they expected it to take longer.
Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services would need to approve the third dose before it becomes available at local health departments. Whether you’re eligible for a third dose or still need to get your first one, doctors are urging people to get vaccinated.
“It (getting vaccinated) significantly helps you reduce your risk of severe disease and death,” says Dr. Cockley.
“It’s hard to know what the future holds, but as we get more and more people vaccinated we control the virus, we prevent it from mutating, and we have a much better future,” says Dr. Rai.