Immunocompromised Arkansans eligible for third COVID-19 vaccine dose

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The CDC is now recommending a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for certain immunocompromised people.

Brenna Neumann, director of pharmacy operations at Collier Drug Stores, said there are very few people who are currently eligible.

“It’s actually only about three percent of the population, so its only a very small part of the population,” Neumann said.

Neumann said some of the people who are eligible include people undergoing cancer treatment, someone who has had an organ transplant, and certain medical conditions such as lupus, HIV and chronic kidney disease. You can view a full list of who is eligible on the CDC’s website.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health, said the third dose will offer more protection from COVID-19 and the delta variant for immunocompromised people.

“The studies have shown that people who have moderate to severe weakened immune systems do not respond as robustly to two doses of the vaccine as we would like, so an additional dose is being offered to them and recommended,” Dilliah said.

Dr. Dillaha said that if someone is eligible to get the third dose, they should get the same brand that they got for their initial two doses. It is also recommended to get the third dose at least 28 days after the second one. Currently, there isn’t any recommendation for people who received the Johnson and Johnson shot.

Dr. Dillaha said a booster dose could be coming for the general population later on. Everyone else would need to wait about 8 months after their second dose to get the booster shot.

“People who have normal immunity will have a good immune system to the first two doses and then over time the level of antibodies that we used to measure the response will decline, Dillaha said. “The thought is by giving an a booster does down the road would then strengthen the immune system’s response to the virus.”

Collier Drug Stores is currently giving out third doses to those who are eligible as well as Medical Arts Pharmacy.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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