Should I Get a Third Shot of the COVID-19 Vaccine?
We have been seeing for the past month many people getting their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, mainly in countries abroad, and the medical staff in Lebanon.
However, many citizens in Lebanon are now being encouraged to take their third dose of vaccine, particularly the immune-comprised people to improve their response to the initial vaccine series.
Who can get the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
While all of us may end up taking a third dose of vaccine, or a booster shot to enhance our immune response, the CDC and the FDA recommend an additional dose at least 28 days after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna for individuals who have a qualifying medical condition associated with immunosuppression.
Who are the immunocompromised individuals?
- People who have been receiving active cancer treatment
- People who received an organ transplant
- People taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- People suffering from long-term diseases that has extremely weakened their immune system
- People diagnosed with HIV and have a high viral load or low CD4 count
- People taking drugs like high-dose steroids or other medications that may cause severe suppression of the immune system
- People suffering from autoimmune diseases
- People aged 65 and older
- People aged 18 through 64 whose occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19
- People aged 18-49 with health conditions.
- People in high-risk professions (e.g, Medical Staff)
The FDA and CDC continue to monitor how successfully vaccinations protect individuals in the real world to make the best decisions for public health, and these current guidelines are subject to change as additional evidence is gathered.
It will require more than vaccination to end the epidemic, including booster doses. Wearing masks, boosting indoor ventilation, and other public health measures will be required until cases are brought under control to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and avoid hospitalization.
For now, let us continue to follow the safety precautions because the coronavirus pandemic is a long way from being over, and for the safety of the immunocompromised individuals in our community.