The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced that effective August 12, 2021, Kansas providers may now administer an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and have already been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. This follows Thursday’s expansion of the emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration for these mRNA vaccines, today’s recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and acceptance by the CDC Director. This EUA does not apply to those who received the Janssen/J&J vaccine as there is currently not enough data to determine if an additional dose of Janssen/J&J vaccine will improve immune response in people who are immunocompromised.
“The data shows us that the vaccine efficacy in some people who are immunocompromised is significantly lower than in people who are not immunocompromised,” said Lee Norman, M.D., Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Additionally, people who are immunocompromised make up to 44% of hospitalized breakthrough cases in the United States. This additional dose may enhance the immunity for those who need extra protection from COVID-19.”
This additional dose is recommended for people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised due to a health condition or medical treatment. This includes
- 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
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatments with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
KDHE continues to urge people who are immunocompromised, including those who receive an additional dose of mRNA vaccine, to continue to follow prevention measures including:
- Wear a mask
- Stay six feet apart from others they don’t live with
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
Close contacts of immunocompromised people are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.