Erie County Department of Health to provide third dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine
Following last week’s action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to amend to the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the Erie County Department of Health will provide a third dose for certain people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or receipt of immunosuppressive medications or treatments.
ECDOH said, “Individuals age 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, or who are receiving immunosuppressive medications or treatments, are strongly encouraged to talk to their physician or health care provider about the risks, benefits and timing of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.”
All individuals seeking a third dose through ECDOH clinics will be asked to sign an attestation form to confirm that they have a medical condition or are receiving a treatment or medication that makes them eligible.
Medical conditions or treatments/medications that would qualify an individual for a third dose include, but are not limited to:
√ Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies;
√ Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy;
√ Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy);
√ Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
√ Advanced or untreated HIV infection; and/or
√ Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
According to federal guidance, whenever possible, mRNA COVID-19 vaccination doses (including the primary series and an additional dose) should be completed at least two weeks before initiation or resumption of immunosuppressive therapies.
ECDOH said, “COVID-19 vaccination timing should take into consideration current or planned immunosuppressive therapies and optimization of both the patient’s medical condition and response to vaccine.
“The updated guidance for additional doses is not intended for persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, for which there might be mild associated immunosuppression, nor for residents of long-term care facilities who do not otherwise meet the moderate to severe immunocompromised criteria.”
ECDOH clinics will offer third doses of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals ages 12 and older starting Thursday, Aug. 19. Third doses will be available from noon until 4 p.m. weekdays at ECC South – Building 7 (the old DMV), and at all other ECDOH clinic sites. The ECDOH COVID-19 information line can be reached at 716-858-2929. The ECDOH attestation form and full clinic schedule are online at www.erie.gov/vax.
The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not issued guidance for third vaccine doses for other fully vaccinated individuals at this time. The FDA’s amendments do not apply to the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.