Connecticut Department of Public Health Issues
Statement Regarding ACIP Guidance On Boosters
Sept. 23, 2021
HARTFORD, Conn.— Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and voted to recommend that a single dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a booster at least six months after completing of the primary Pfizer vaccine series to individuals 65 and older as well as select individuals 18-64 who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
DPH stresses that there is a more than adequate supply of vaccine available.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. It is critical that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people get their primary series of vaccines to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 and its more severe outcomes. Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated at all.
What You Need to Know
People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised.
- This additional dose intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.
- Although CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, HHS has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.
- CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine?
Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:
- Been 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 within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
Can you mix and match the vaccines?
For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.
What should immunocompromised people who received the J&J/Janssen vaccine do?
The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation.
Emerging data have demonstrated that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection following two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.
Please call 203-576-7468
or email us with any questions.
Ebony Jackson-Shaheed, MPH, Epidemiologist
Director of Health & Social Services
999 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604