The FDA has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for people with compromised immune systems to better protect them from the virus, and some states like Rhode Island have said immunocompromised residents could begin receiving their third dose of coronavirus vaccines as soon as this weekend.
But what about Massachusetts?
The state Department of Public Health sent a message to providers Saturday, saying they are currently reviewing Friday's actions by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that recommend a third dose of the vaccine for Americans who are especially vulnerable because of organ transplants, certain cancers and other disorders.
The shots were recommended for individuals 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
As the delta variant continues to surge across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, has said it is increasingly clear that previously vaccinated people with weakened immune systems are still vulnerable to COVID. The purpose of the booster shot would be to get their protection level up to where it should be.
The state DPH said it urges all Massachusetts residents to contact their medical providers if they have any questions about whether a third dose of the vaccine is recommended for them specifically.
According to state health officials, more information and guidance around the Bay State's plan will be issued soon.