As you’re probably very aware, the Delta variant is currently surging in communities across the country. As of Labor Day weekend, there were 150,000 new infections per day with only 53.2% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated and 62.5% of Americans having at least one dose.1 While this 4th COVID-19 wave is undoubtedly a little depressing, there is some good news: the vaccines work!
In fact, a recent CDC study found that unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid, and five times more likely to be infected with the virus than those who are vaccinated!
You have also likely heard that the effectiveness of the vaccines decline over time, which has caused a lot of chatter about booster shots. While the federal government works on solidifying a timeline for the general public with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the general public, all are in agreement that immunocompromised individuals should get a booster now to protect against the Delta variant.
Boosters for Immunocompromised
According to the CDC, those people who have a moderately to severely compromised immune system are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and may not build the same level of immunity to the 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. As a result, an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine taken at least 28 days after a second dose, will improve immunocompromised people’s response to the virus.2
Again, for now, there is still no official CDC recommendation for anyone other than the immunocompromised at this time, but health experts believe it will come at some point this fall.
Am I immunocompromised?
Now that you have this information, you might be wondering, how do I know if I am immunocompromised? Great question!
According to the CDC, if you meet one of the following conditions, you’re immunocompromised enough that you should get a booster shot:
- 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 in the last 2 years
- Taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g. DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
How do I get a booster shot?
Did you fall into one of the above categories? If so, you can get a booster shot at any one of approximately 80,000 vaccination locations nationwide by just showing your vaccination card.3
Remember before you book an appointment or make any official plans, it’s always best to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that getting an additional dose of the vaccine is the right move.
Want to help prevent the spread of COVID-19? Get yourself and your child (12 and over) vaccinated as soon as possible. Not sure where to get vaccinated or learn about the vaccine? Your local community pharmacist is a great person to ask! Just check out our directory to see if COVID-19 vaccinations – and many other services that can help keep you and your community healthy – are offered at your local pharmacy.