INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Evidence shows COVID-19 antibodies wane in people with weakened immune systems and now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow a third jab of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, for this group.
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At the top of the list are organ transplant recipients followed by other equivalently vulnerable groups. News 8 spoke with Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health. He says this authorization is a good move, one that will help the most at-risk avoid infection from the highly contagious and infectious variant of concern: delta.
“It’s not super surprising this group is being prioritized,” Doehring told News 8. “Certainly what we’ve learned is that people who are immunocompromised are not responding as robustly and their immunity isn’t lasting quite as long. So, it’s very appropriate and good news that the FDA is starting to get this information out there and put some more guidance out on these questions.”
“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease,” Acting FDA Commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines.”
The statement goes on to remind the public the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for emergency use in people 12 and older. The Moderna shot is authorized for people 18 and older.
They also say people who are fully vaccinated with the 2-dose series are fully protected and do not need a booster shot at this time.