Should you get a third dose of the Covid vaccine?
Recently, the FDA and CDC have just approved and recommended an additional dose of mRNA Covid19 vaccines
for individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed. Although
many people refer to this as a Booster shot, this is incorrect. It is being recommended because
those people with weakened immune systems may not have produced an adequate immune response.
If you want to know if you have an adequate immune response, we offer functional antibody
testing. However, this testing does not just quantify if you have an antibody but if the antibody neutralizes the virus.
Why is it important for immunosuppressed people to get a third dose of Covid Vaccine?
The current spread of the Delta Variant which can infect even those who are vaccinated is the basis for
the recommendation of the third dose of the Covid vaccine. Moreover, those with weakened immune systems are more
likely to get sick from this Delta variant and are at greater risk for long-term infection, and more
transmission of the virus which impacts nursing homes and assisted living facilities where they may live. Additionally,
Immunosuppressed individuals are more vulnerable even after vaccination. For example, of the patients in the US over
the age of 65, almost 3% take medications that weaken their immune systems. These people may be taking chemotherapy medications or steroid medications such as prednisone.
Who can get the third dose of the Covid19 vaccine?
Here is a partial list for eligibility for the COVID19 third dose vaccine:
Primary immune deficiency
Cancers (solid tumors like leukemia and lymphoma)
A bone marrow transplants in the last two years
Organ transplant of liver, heart, kidney, lung, and pancreas
HIV infection or AIDS
Chronic use of Prednisone
TNF blockers such as Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, Cimzia or Simponi or other biological agents that
modify the immune response
People with end-stage kidney disease and people on dialysis
Anyone with the removal of a spleen