The CDC publishes updated COVID-19 vaccine guidelines for immunocompromised humans
The CDC publishes updated COVID-19 vaccine guidelines for immunocompromised humans

The CDC publishes updated COVID-19 vaccine guidelines for immunocompromised humans

Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to become immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system, ranging from hereditary genetic conditions to immunosuppressive drugs such as corticosteroids.

The CDC has updated its guidelines for people who are immunocompromised. Summary of recent changes (updated February 11, 2022):

  • New guidance to shorten the interval between completion of the primary series of the mRNA vaccine and booster dose to at least 3 months (instead of 5 months)

  • New instructions for those who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine primary series, to receive an extra dose and a booster dose, for a total of 3 doses to be updated

Primary series shots

Immunocompromised people are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Everyone, including immunocompromised humans, should receive a COVID-19 primary vaccine series as soon as possible if they are 5 years of age or older.

Additional primary shots and booster shots for some immunocompromised people

After completing the primary series, some moderate or severely immunocompromised individuals should receive an additional primary shot. The extra primary dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is intended to enhance the response of immunocompromised humans to their primary vaccine series. It’s different than a booster shot. The booster is administered after a person has completed their primary vaccine series to improve or restore COVID-19 protection, which may decrease over time.

All 12 years and older, including immunocompromised individuals, should receive a booster shot. If you are eligible for an extra primary shot, you should first get this dose before you get a booster shot.

Who is moderate or severely immune compromised?

Humans are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:

  • Has received active cancer treatment for tumors or cancer of the blood

  • Received an organ transplant and is taking medication to suppress the immune system

  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or is taking medication to suppress the immune system

  • Moderate or severe primary immune deficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection

  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that can suppress your immune response

Guidance for people with moderate or severely weakened immune systems:

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