Third Dose Recommended for Immunocompromised People

What you need to know

  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised.
  • This additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.
  • No testing or doctor’s note is needed to determine eligibility. Self-attestation is all that is necessary.
  • Although CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, HHS has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.
  • DHEC sent a letter to vaccine providers to ready them for this federal recommendation.
  • A booster dose is not recommended for everyone at this time is because FDA and CDC are examining the data to determine the optimal timing of a booster. If you get a booster too soon after your second shot you may not get the best immune response. 

Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine?

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who 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 should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

If you have additional questions, see CDC’s FAQs or call DHEC’s Vaccination Line at 1-866-365-8110, every day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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