Ozarks Healthcare now offering Third COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised Individuals
Following recent recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ozarks Healthcare is now offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to individuals who are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised.
“The need for a third COVID-19 dose for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised has been a conversation among medical professionals for quite some time,” Katie Mahan, Director of Ozarks Healthcare’s Pharmacy, said. “Research shows that those with limited immune systems may benefit from a third dose for stronger protection against COVID-19 and its variants.”
Medical conditions and treatments that qualify individuals include, but are not limited to:
- Solid organ transplant and taking immune suppressing medications
- Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
- CAR-T cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
- Primary immunodeficiency (eg., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndromes)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress immune response: high dose corticosteroids (ie.,≥ 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blocker or other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory
Missouri will use a self-attestation model that is in line with federal guidelines, so individuals will not be required to provide documentation of their health status.
The FDA’s recent announcement for those immunocompromised only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation. This guidance does not apply to those who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 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.
The recommendation for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals does not disqualify the need for a booster dose for all individuals as time progresses, Mahan said.
“The third dose for immunocompromised individuals is intended to protect individuals’ immunity response after their initial series of vaccines,” Mahan said. “At this point in time, it is likely all individuals will be recommended to receive a booster vaccine for continual immunity against COVID-19, but no guidance is currently in place. We are following all federal and state guidelines closely, and will share more information about booster doses as it is provided to us.”
Vaccine Availability through Ozarks Healthcare
Ozarks Healthcare is currently offering the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines. Vaccines are available on a walk-in basis on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and by appointment on other weekdays at the Ozarks Healthcare Pharmacy located at 1211 Porter Wagoner Blvd. in Parkway Center in West Plains. COVID-19 vaccines are given at no cost. For more information, visit https://www.ozarkshealthcare.com/coronavirus-updates/vaccine-info/ or call 417-256-1793.
Ozarks Healthcare is a system of care encompassing primary care and specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare, and home health services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire health system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare, visit www.OzarksHealthcare.com.