Colorado Physician explains who’s most probably to profit from one other dose of COVID vaccine – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – Doctors say a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine might be most beneficial for those with weaker immune systems, where the first two shots weren’t enough to get as much protection from the virus as others. The Food and Drug Administration changed its emergency approvals for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for immunocompromised people on Thursday.
“It’s the individual’s reaction that we’re really concerned about, so if you have a normal immune system, right? You don’t have to go out and get a third dose, ”said Dr. Steve Frankel, Professor of Medicine and Executive Vice President of Clinical Affairs at National Jewish Health. “But if you have a weakened immune system and maybe you’re good at making antibodies, maybe not, then we’re really thinking about doing that third dose.”
The FDA said that organ transplant recipients and those diagnosed with conditions that are considered immunocompromised should be given a third dose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scheduled a meeting for one of their advisory committees on Friday to discuss recommendations.
“What we do know is that if you are broadly immunocompromised, you run the risk of not responding as robustly to the vaccine,” said Dr. Frankel across from CBS4. “The vaccine stimulates your immune system, doesn’t it? The vaccine does not give you any artificial antibodies, it offers you no protection like a drug. “
Frankel says these agencies move should take into account the context of the current stage of the pandemic. A further increase in cases due to the delta variant and a large, as yet unvaccinated population help to account for it. While the majority of the seriously ill don’t have a vaccine, there are some landmark cases.
“A vaccine stimulates your own immune system to build up a defense against the virus. If your immune system is normal and intact, great, fabulous, you are in a really good place, ”he said. “If your immune system is not working properly for a variety of reasons, you are immunocompromised and may or may not have a strong reaction after receiving the vaccine.”
Cancer patients, as well as those taking drugs that suppress their immune systems to treat other conditions, are among those in this current category who are likely to receive an extra dose of the vaccine. Frankel says this decision is based on months of research on a third dose, for which more studies are available for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as most Americans have either option.
“Moving on, as vaccines become more available and we are really trying to tweak our strategy to keep us all safe and healthy, it makes a lot of sense to look at people over 65 or 70,” he said.
Other countries have already started suggesting a different dose for older adults because their immune systems are not responding in the same way as younger and healthier ones.
More research is needed on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including whether a second dose of the same vaccine would be ideal or whether adults could take either of the other two options for their booster dose. It also needs to be determined whether this vaccine is moving towards the flu shot, where it is recommended annually, taking into account the duration of immunity and the effects of variants.
“It’s a possibility, it’s not safe, yes, it’s not safe, no, and it’s a little uncomfortable, isn’t it? because you have to accept that there is a certain amount of uncertainty, ”said Frankel.
With some getting closer to a new, additional intake of Pfizer and Moderna after just two doses, it is still important that they especially follow the old guidelines on how to contain the spread of the virus during the pandemic.
“We have always suggested to them that you really have to keep wearing a mask, you have to keep social distance, we don’t know how well you will make antibodies, we don’t know how good your immune system is. I’ll answer,” Frankel said. “Be careful. Be careful.”
LINK: FDA announcement