Currently, the CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna).
The CDC website states:
- People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
- People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised.
- People who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19.
- CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.
- This additional dose intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series is not the same as a booster dose, given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time.
Per the CDC, moderately to severely immunocompromised 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 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
What does this mean for Gastro Health Patients?
Many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) as well as other conditions such as autoimmune hepatitis or pancreatitis are on medications that suppress the immune system.
These medications include, but are not limited to, biologics such as Remicade, Humira, Stelara, Entyvio, Prednisone, 6-mercaptopurine, and methotrexate.
For more information regarding the guidelines and your specific case, please consult with your doctor.
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