Some immunocompromised people will be eligible for 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine this month

The 4th dose is a booster for people who received a 3rd dose in August

File Photo (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Charles Krupa, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Some immunocompromised people in San Antonio will be eligible to receive a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this month.

The fourth dose is the booster for people who have already received three shots of the primary dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The CDC recommends that people who are immunocompromised get three primary doses (instead of two) followed by a booster shot five months later. This population is the only group eligible to receive four vaccine doses at this point.

People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they 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, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People who fit that criteria were eligible to receive a third primary dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shots 28 days after their second shot. That third dose happened as early as August here in San Antonio, making them eligible for a fourth dose — their first booster —at the end of this month.

“In this group, adults (18+) should get a booster (4th dose) of mRNA vaccine 5 months after their 3rd primary dose,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, an epidemiologist at University Health in San Antonio. “12 to 17-year-olds can get a Pfizer booster (because) Moderna is not yet approved for these ages.”

Anyone who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months after the first dose.

Dr. Jason Bowling explained to KSAT that the vaccine recommendations continue to evolve. The latest recommendations can be found on the CDC’s website.

City health officials haven’t officially announced the availability of this booster for the immunocompromised. We will give an update when that information is provided.

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About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.