The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorses the additional COVID-19 vaccine shot in immunocompromised people.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met yesterday to discuss whether to recommend the addition of a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people who are immunocompromised.
The CDC’s committee voted 11-0 in favor of recommending a third booster dose of the vaccines.
This endorsement came 1 day after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to expand the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the addition of a singular booster dose of the mRNA vaccines in that same patient population.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, signed the ACIP’s recommendation late yesterday.
“This official CDC recommendation—which follows FDA’s decision to amend the emergency use authorizations of the vaccines—is an important step in ensuring everyone, including those most vulnerable to COVID-19, can get as much protection as possible from COVID-19 vaccination,” Walensky said in a statement.
In her statement, she said that while immunocompromised people in the United States only make up about 3% of the population, they are more vulnerable than the rest of the population as new data is showing that people with immunocompromised systems are not mounting the same immunity and are at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
Two other factors including breakthrough infections and transmission to household members were also referenced in the decision.
"Fully vaccinated immunocompromised people have accounted for a large proportion of hospitalized breakthrough cases (40-44%),” the CDC statement read. “Immunocompromised people who are infected with SARS CoV-2 are also more likely to transmit the virus to household contacts.”
The CDC said this new recommendation includes a number of people with various conditions including recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and some others. To learn more about the list of people within this category, check out the list the CDC developed.
“At a time when the Delta variant is surging, an additional vaccine dose for some people with weakened immune systems could help prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 cases within this population,” Walensky said.