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FACT FINDERS: Who is eligible for the fourth dose of the vaccine?

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Some people can now get a fourth dose of a COVID vaccine.

It is for certain people with compromised immune systems. The guidance from the CDC says this is for moderately and severely immunocompromised people.

They must be at least 18 years old. They must have completed an MRNA vaccine primary series, meaning they received the first two shots of Pfizer or Moderna. Then, they must have received an additional MRNA dose after that.

The CDC says those people may receive a single COVID booster of Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson at least six months after their third MRNA shot. That makes for a total of four vaccine doses.

Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunobiologist with the University of Arizona, says there really is not a lot of data just yet to support how well this fourth dose works. He says for people who are not mounting much of an immune response to the vaccine, the answer might not be more vaccines.

He says Astrazeneca just tested a new monoclonal antibody treatment for those with compromised immune systems as a preventative measure and, so far, it looks promising.

”I’m actually a little more hopeful for those kinds of therapies for people who because they’re on immune suppression, their immune system isn’t really responding to the vaccine well. So, I think there are some other things that I’m a little more hopeful of, then continuously giving people vaccines with high frequency,” he said.

Dr. Bhattacharya says they stopped this particular Astrazeneca monoclonal antibody trial pretty quickly because it was showing obvious benefits. It is not available for those with compromised immune systems just yet but he hopes within the next couple of months it could be authorized by the FDA.

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