A vaccine advisory panel from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has voted unanimously in favor to recommend an additional dose of COVID19 shot for people who are dealing with compromised immune systems in the US. After the panel’s voting, the CDC has immediately signed off on the new recommendation. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well has warded an emergency use authorization to the third dose of COVID19 shots among people who have not been able to develop sufficient immune response after two doses of either Pfizer’s or Moderna COVID19 shots. The FDA has said that there is a lack of data to discuss the odds of an additional dose of single-dose shot that has been developed by Johnson & Johnson. A member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the CDC, Dr. Katherine Poehling has said that the committee has reached a consensus unanimously as the benefits of a third dose are remarkable and the negative effects of an additional dose are least. Dr. Katherine Poehling also works as a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky as well has supported the decision of the advisory panel; it means that people with weaker immune systems will be getting an additional dose of COVID19 shots very soon. Dr. Walensky has said that the new CDC advice after the FDA’s decision to alter the emergency use authorizations of COVID19 shots is vital to ensure that people who are more susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus can get as much immunity as possible through vaccination. However, the agency has not recommended COVID19 booster shots for the normal public.
The ACIP has said that it will depend on patients and their health care providers to decide who requires an additional dose of the shot and when. People will have to prove their requirement of an additional dose of the shot on their own. In such a case, there is no need for a doctor’s prescription or note. The advisory committee has not suggested any test to examine whether people have had enough immune response to COVID19 shots. There is no test authorized by the FDA to determine immune response after getting a COVID19 vaccine. The advisory panel as well as discussed if giving a third dose of COVID19 shot will be safe in children with compromised immune systems who are as young as 12 years. Later, experts have decided to recommend an additional dose for children who are 12 years and above and have been included in the Emergency use authorization of Pfizer shot. Moderna COVID19 shot has been authorized for use in people who are 18 years and above. This EUA is projected to be for people who are dealing with moderate to severe compromised immune systems. Dr. Amanda Cohn from the CDC has said that the EUA has not been given for people who are dealing with other underlying severe health issues where they might be suffering from mild compromised immune systems. Dr. Cohn has said that the intention of clinical reflections will allow some flexibility to health dare providers to examine patients’ compromised immune systems. Patients as well will be able to attest their compromised immune systems to get the third dose. The EUA will not allow people who are dealing with diabetics or heart issues and those who are in long-term facilities. However, more than 1 million people have already received the third dose of the shot before the CDC has recommended booster shots.
Dr. Kathleen Dooling has said that nearly 140 million people have completed their two-dose regimen of either Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID19 shot. Around 1 percent of 12 million people who have been given the single-dose shot that has been developed by the Johnson & Johnson have received a second dose of the shot as well. A recent study that has been done by the John Hopkins University has shown that people who are dealing with compromised immune systems are at 485 times higher risk of getting hospitalized or die with COVID19 infection as compared to other people who have been vaccinated. The CDC has reported around 7 million adult people in the US are suffering from compromised immune systems either due to the diseases they are dealing with or medicines they take. Most breakthrough cases of COVID19 are taking place in people who are dealing with compromised immune systems. The existing COVID19 vaccines that are being used in the US are only 59 to 72 percent efficient among people who are dealing with weaker immune systems. On the other hand, these shots are nearly 90 to 94 percent effective among the general public. People who are dealing with weaker immune systems are at a higher risk of falling sick with severe COVID19 infection. These people as well are at a greater risk of extended SARS-CoV-2 infection, said the experts. Dr. Amanda Cohn has said that there are many chances of greater viral evolution and transmission during prolonged infection and treatment. A small study has noted that nearly 40 to 44 percent of hospitalized breakthrough cases of COVID19 have taken place in people with compromised immune systems. It is a fact that COVID19 shots might not work very well on such patients. Experts have been saying that with higher rates of vaccination, herd immunity might protect these patients. However, it has turned out to be otherwise, as nearly a third of eligible people in the US have not taken even one dose of a COVID19 shot. When people test positive COVID19 even after being fully vaccinated, they are defined as breakthrough cases of COVID19. Although vaccines offer good immunity against severe infection, there have been around 7101 hospitalization and 1507 deaths due to the virus among 164 million fully vaccinated people. However, the CDC has said that these figures might be an undercount.