Studies found that many immunocompromised people who didn’t respond to the first two doses of a COVID vaccine can benefit from a third dose.
While booster shots will only be available for the immunocompromised in the United States at first, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that position may change in the future.
“Inevitably there will be a time when we’ll have to give boosters. What we’re doing literally on a weekly and monthly basis is following cohorts of patients to determine if, when and whom should get it. But right now, at this moment, other than the immunocompromised, we’re not gonna be giving boosters to people,” Fauci said.
A small Canadian clinical trial enrolled 120 transplant recipients and found that a third dose of a COVID vaccine increases protection for organ transplant recipients. Researchers found that over half of those who received the additional dose had a high level of antibodies in their blood, compared to 18% of those who were given a placebo.
The Israeli government began offering a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine to adults who are immunocompromised in mid-July. The first people who received the dose were those who recently received an organ transplant.
One small study, which has not yet been peer -reviewed, found that people who had weakened immune systems who got the third dose were twice as likely to develop strong antibodies as they were after two doses.
The CDC’s advisory panel will meet on Friday to weigh in on a decision. Then it would need to be officially signed by the CDC director.