CDC recommends booster doses for immunocompromised people

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends booster doses for immunocompromised people who have received a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

The booster dose should be given six months after the third dose of Pfizer or Moderna and would constitute a fourth dose. The Moderna booster dose is half strength of the primary doses.

Everyone who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine should seek a booster dose of any one of the three authorized vaccines two months after the initial vaccination.

On Aug. 12, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adjusted the existing Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow certain immunocompromised people to receive a third, additional dose of vaccine.

According to the FDA statement, “immunocompromised individuals” are defined as solid organ transplant recipients or others who have similar reductions in their immune response.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also expanded the FDA’s definition of immunocompromised individuals to include people who:

  • Are undergoing active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Have received solid-organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Have received CAR (chimeric antigen receptor)-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or are taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
  • Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Are undergoing active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

For up-to-date information on booster doses and third doses for immunocompromised people, visit our web page.