On Aug. 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that an additional, or third dose, of messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine could be given to people who are immunocompromised (have weakened immune systems) and have already received two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA has updated emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only. At this time, an additional dose is not recommended for those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Further evaluation and guidance specific to that vaccine is pending.
According to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the purpose of the additional dose is to strengthen the immune response when a person’s reaction to the initial two-dose vaccine is likely to be insufficient. The additional dose is recommended to be given at least 28 days following the completion of the primary two-dose series.
It is estimated that less than 3 percent of Ohioans will qualify for an additional dose under the CDC guidelines.
The following conditions qualify someone for an additional dose, according to Fayette County Public Health (FCPH):
· Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (20 milligrams or more of prednisone daily or an equivalent) including:
– alkylating agents
– cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive
– transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs
– tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers
– other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory
· Advanced or untreated HIV infection
· Moderate or severe immunodeficiency such as DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
· Received a CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant and are within two years of transplant or taking immunosuppression therapy
· Received a solid-organ transplant and are presently taking immunosuppressive therapy
· Undergoing cancer treatment – solid tumors and hematologic malignancies
Anyone requesting an additional dose of vaccine will be advised of the qualifying conditions and will self-attest to their own eligibility.
Those seeking an additional dose should contact their primary care provider (PCP) to discuss their situation and potentially schedule an appointment with their PCP or vaccination provider of choice (such as the health department or a participating pharmacy).
The CDC continues to recommend extra precautions for immunocompromised people along with the additional dose of vaccine. These include:
· Wearing a mask
· Maintaining six feet of social distance from those who live outside of their household
· Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
COVID-19 Community Transmission & Case Update
The level of community transmission of COVID-19 remains high for Fayette County, according to FCPH. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and protect others.
There have been 71 cases reported over the latest 14-day period or 248.9 per 100,000 people, according to FCPH. The county positivity rate for the 14-day period ending Aug. 10 is 7.9%, down from 8.6% during the previous period.
Fayette County surpassed 3,000 COVID-19 cases this week. There have been a total of 3,001 cases reported (2,375 confirmed, 626 probable) since the pandemic began. Two individuals were hospitalized in the past week bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 244. There have been a total of 50 deaths, and 2,850 individuals are presumed recovered (Presumed recovered is defined as cases with symptom onset at or above 21 days prior who are not deceased).
Vaccination reduces hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19
Since Jan. 1, 2021, there have been 19,749 hospitalizations for COVID-19 of individuals who were not fully vaccinated, and 407 hospitalizations for fully vaccinated individuals. There have been 6,965 deaths of individuals who were not fully vaccinated and 71 deaths of individuals who were fully vaccinated.
The Ohio Department of Health vaccine breakthrough dashboard can found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/covid-19-vaccine/breakthrough-dashboard.
Weekly Vaccination Provider Update
Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) – Clinics at FCPH are by appointment only. Schedule an appointment by calling 740-335-5910 or visiting faycohd.org.
Pfizer (12+): August 24, 1-6 p.m.; September 7 (2nd dose only), 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; September 14, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Moderna (18+): August 26, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; September 1, 7, and 28, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; September 21, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
HealthSource of Ohio
– Visit www.healthsourceofohio or call (740) 335-8490 to request an appointment.
Visit kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccine or call the Kroger COVID-19 vaccine helpline at 866-211-5320.
– Schedule through walgreens.com/schedulevaccine. The portal opens up each Saturday for Monday-Saturday appointments.
Walmart is scheduling eligible individuals by appointment only dependent on vaccine availability. To schedule an appointment, visit walmart.com/covidvaccine.
– The Fayette County Transportation Program will transport anyone in Fayette County who needs to get their vaccine appointment, as long as they have a confirmed appointment scheduled. Anyone who needs transportation is asked to call 740-335-9628 to schedule as soon as they have an appointment time for the vaccine.
The local vaccination provider list is updated and shared weekly as a courtesy, and availability can change from day to day. Please contact the provider directly to determine which vaccine is being administered. You can also search for providers by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
– Eligible individuals can receive a vaccine from any provider of their choice. The vaccine is offered at no cost at all locations. Vaccine providers can bill a patient’s insurance for a fee to administer the vaccine, but will not be able to charge the patient.
– Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been authorized for 12 years and older
– Parental or legal guardian permission is required for minors (12-17 years old)
– Moderna and Pfizer each require two doses. You are not fully protected until 2 weeks after your second dose of vaccine.
– In addition to this list, private healthcare providers may be offering the vaccine. Contact your healthcare provider for details.
Stay updated by following Fayette County Public Health on Facebook – facebook.com/faycohd or visit the FCPH website at faycohd.org.