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Health Department administering COVID booster shots for immunocompromised

The Stanly County Health Department is now beginning to offer a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals.

The department last week acquired 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine and almost 1,170 of Pfizer, Health Director David Jenkins said. The department previously had a limited quantity of Pfizer doses in stock.

The plan is to provide people with the same brand of COVID-19 vaccine that they already received, Jenkins said. So if someone got two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, they should get a third dose of Pfizer.

Jenkins said the department has already heard from many people who have expressed interest in receiving a third dose.

The Moderna vaccine is being used exclusively to administer booster shots. All other vaccinations are being administer by the Pfizer vaccine.

This news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier in the month recommended that certain immunocompromised people should get a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to further protect themselves from the virus.

The third dose, according to the CDC, is recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised people. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection; and
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

The U.S. government plans to make COVID-19 booster shots widely available starting Sept. 20. The third shot will be offered to fully vaccinated Americans who completed their initial two-shot inoculation at least eight months ago.

A third dose is encouraged as health officials have started to see waning immunity against infection from the delta variant.

“We are seeing some decline in antibodies over time in people who have received the vaccines,” said Dr. Lewis McCurdy, specialty director of infectious diseases with Atrium, during a call with reporters last week.

The FDA granted full approval of the Pfizer vaccine last week, which Jenkins hopes will persuade more people in the county to get vaccinated.

People can make an appointment to receive a third dose by calling the department at 980-323-0205. Vaccinations are available from 9 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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