Medical research shows that immunocompromised individuals may have a reduced ability to respond to vaccines and that the standard two-dose regimen of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may not produce the same degree of protection for these individuals against circulating variants. The St. Charles County Department of Public Health (DPH) now offers a third dose vaccination for these individuals.
New data shows that a third dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines increases the effectiveness of protection for immunocompromised individuals.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, immunocompromised individuals are especially vulnerable to COVID and at more risk for serious, prolonged illness,” Sara Evers, Acting Director of DPH, says. “This additional dose increases their immune response to the virus.”
Individuals who are immunocompromised should consult with their personal healthcare provider to discuss this additional recommended precaution and address any questions before they decide whether to take a third vaccination.
After recommendation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Missouri authorized vaccine providers to begin administering additional vaccinations to those who are immunocompromised and who have had a full regimen of a COVID mRNA vaccine. Following state and federal guidelines, immunocompromised individuals will receive the same product for their third dose as they received for their first and second dose series. The guidance does not support an additional vaccination at this time for those who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine; however, additional research is ongoing and DPH continues to monitor the FDA for information concerning Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.
Third dose vaccinations for immunocompromised individuals, as well as first and second dose vaccinations for the general public, can be obtained at a DPH vaccination event in St. Charles County or by appointment on Fridays at the department’s main office at 1650 Boone’s Lick in St. Charles. Those obtaining second or third doses should bring their COVID vaccination card if available. For more information, visit sccmo.org/COVIDvaccine or call the COVID Hotline 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday, at 636-949-1899 to schedule an appointment.
Don't forget: DPH continues to offer free COVID vaccinations for the general public. And, as a reminder, if you experience COVID symptoms or recently were exposed to someone who tested positive, you should be tested. DPH conducts free COVID testing by appointment. Getting tested identifies if you have an active case and may prevent the spread of the disease.