Virginia is now offering a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people who received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna and are moderately and severely immunocompromised. This follows the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced August 13 and includes people who have:
“The third dose of vaccine is approved for this population because the research shows that they are likely to benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “The additional dose is the same formulation as the first two doses of Pfizer or Moderna received and is available at many pharmacies, medical offices and at the county’s vaccination site.”
“For otherwise healthy people, a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine is currently not recommended,” Dr. Goodfriend added.
The CDC estimates that the new recommendation for a third dose of vaccine affects about 3% of the U.S. population, which amounts to about 12,000 Loudoun residents. As of today, more than 243,000 Loudoun County residents are fully vaccinated, representing 59% of Loudoun’s total population and nearly 73% of Loudoun’s adult population. Many of those who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine may be wondering how the CDC’s recommendation affects them.
“Those who have normal immune systems and already have been fully vaccinated are well protected against the virus, including the Delta variant,” said Dr. Goodfriend. “We remain focused on vaccinating those who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine and now are able to offer third doses to those who need it.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized on August 12 the use of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine in certain immunocompromised individuals. The FDA authorization includes the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only. According to the CDC, there is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine. Individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should wait for additional guidance from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) regarding the possibility of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the future.
The Loudoun County Health Department is closely following the ongoing research and recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what you should know now about additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines:
The Health Department strongly urges anyone 12 and older who has not yet been vaccinated to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Visit loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine to find a vaccine provider near you.
In addition to vaccination, to help curb the increase in COVID-19 cases that Loudoun County has been experiencing, the Health Department recommends everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings and practice prevention measures that include: staying 6 feet away from people who do not live in your household; covering your coughs and sneezes; washing your hands frequently; staying home when sick; avoiding contact with sick people; knowing the signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and getting tested if you’re symptomatic, or if potentially exposed to COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status.
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