CLEVELAND (WJW) – Doctors at University Hospitals in Cleveland breathed a sigh of relief Friday after the CDC gave final approval of an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for certain immunocompromised people.
“There are about 9 million Americans with weakened immune systems. These individuals have a 400-fold risk of hospitalization with COVID. These people need something more,” said Dr. Daniel Simon, chief clinical and scientific officer.
The announcement follows the FDA’s approval Thursday of the booster shots for organ transplant recipients, those with certain cancers and others with similarly compromised immune systems.
“It is a very important directive. Those who got their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna at least 28 days prior can get a third dose,” said Simon.
Simon said medical proof or a prescription will not be required to get a third shot.
According to the CDC, either shot may be given if someone’s original vaccine is not available.
“Here at UH, it’s a plan under development and that will be implemented over the weekend and even by Monday,” said Simon.
The decision offers an extra dose only to those high-risk groups and not the general public. The agencies did not clear boosters for those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Meanwhile, other local hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic say they plan to give booster shots to eligible patients within the next week.
However, at this time, hospital officials are awaiting additional guidance from federal and state agencies and are working out the details of the booster program.