People with compromised immunity should get a booster of COVID-19 vaccine

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It is now officially authorized for people with compromised immunity to get a booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

An independent advisory committee voted to recommend the extra dose for certain people and the director of the agency signed off on the recommendation.

The move gives clarity to healthcare providers who are fielding a lot of questions about this recently. It's also giving reassurance to some patients.

"In the back of your mind you are thinking you're immunocompromised, you're at a higher risk than everybody else," said Adam Hyman.

Hyman, a local pediatric nurse, has survived his own health struggles. Two years ago, he underwent a life-saving kidney transplant. A good friend donated his organ.

When the pandemic hit, Hyman knew he had to take extra precautions, even after he was fully-vaccinated.

Studies show transplant patients and others with compromised immunity can have a much lower response to the vaccines meaning less protection. It's the reason behind Friday's decision.

The CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices voted to recommend people with moderate to severe weakened immunity get a booster dose of the vaccine, at least 28 days after receiving the two dose regimen of Pfizer or Moderna.

This follows the FDA's authorization. Advice is coming for those who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Dr. Emily Blumberg at Penn Medicine said research shows no safety concerns with a booster dose but a potential boost to antibody levels.

"So we think this could make a significant difference for at least some patients on immunosuppression," she said.

For Hyman, he's talking with his doctor hoping to schedule a third dose soon.

"Just to know I got an extra boost in my body and hopefully it will help out," he said.

Officials say patients won't need a doctor's note or proof of their condition to get the 3rd dose, but if you fall into one of the high risk categories, you should talk with your healthcare provider.
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