North Carolina, Raleigh-The Wake County, North Carolina Department of Public Health is administering a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine free of charge to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems.
These people have already received the two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna brands.
This initiative follows the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We need to make sure that everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, get the most protection possible from vaccination,” said Dr. Kim McDonald, medical director of county Public Health.
“With hospitalizations increasing more than 100% in the last two weeks and the Delta variant rapidly spreading throughout Wake County, we hope to be able to offer a third dose of vaccine to people with weakened immune systems, because it could help prevent serious illness or disease. Possibly death,” he added.Below are the answers to frequently asked questions that arise in this regard.The information is based on a statement issued by Wake County health authorities.
Why is a third dose necessary?
Moderately to severely immunosuppressed people make up about 3% of the adult population and are especially vulnerable to the new coronavirus as they are at greater risk of severe and prolonged illness.
Studies indicate that some immunosuppressed people, meaning those with weakened immune systems, do not always develop the same level of protection, even after receiving both doses of Pfizer or Moderna.
Additional analyzes show that fully vaccinated, immunosuppressed people account for a percentage of hospitalized “breakthrough cases,” suggesting that these people are more likely to spread the virus at home.
Who can receive the third dose?
Those interested should speak with their health care provider about their condition to determine if receiving that additional dose is appropriate.
The CDC recommends the third dose in the following cases:
Cancer patients undergoing active treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
Organ transplant recipients who take medications to suppress their immune system
Stem cell transplant recipients who are less than two years from transplant and who take medications to suppress their immune system
Anyone with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as Di George syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
People with advanced or untreated HIV infectionThose receiving high-dose corticosteroids or other medications that can suppress your immune response
It should be noted that the CDC has not recommended additional doses or booster shots for any other population, at this time, including those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, in the middle of this week they indicated that they will do so soon.
How do you get the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine?
Eligible individuals may enter any of Wake County Public Health’s immunization clinics or events .
These activities take place six days a week, and include night hours and Saturdays.
It should be noted that this third dose does not require an appointment. However, those who so wish may do so in the coming days, when the corresponding system is updated.
Another thing to consider is that walk-ins should not wait long for the application.
A third dose must be given at least 28 days after the second and must be of the same brand as the first and second.
Do I need to bring medical records or any proof?
No. When you arrive at a clinic, registration staff will look up your vaccination information in the North Carolina Covid Vaccine Management System to ensure you received your first Pfizer or Moderna doses.
The patient can bring his vaccination card. Then, he will be asked to testify or declare that he is immunocompromised through a digital form.
What comes next?
Next is to sign up for V-Safe, a symptom checker that will send you occasional text messages to check on how you’re feeling.
In addition, it will allow you to report any symptoms. It is very important and only takes about two minutes to answer.
Another no less significant detail is that even after receiving this third dose, immunosuppressed people must continue with the 3W (Use of a mask, social distancing, and frequent handwashing.