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Department of Health approves third COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised

Immunocompromised patients may now receive a third shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement from the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

Previously, the department was waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide specific guidelines for which people would be eligible for the third dose. 

The additional dose is available for those who already received both rounds of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to the statement released Thursday, Aug. 19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not been approved for an additional dose. 

“This is an additional dose for individuals that have specific health conditions that limit their ability to make antibodies to fight off COVID-19 with only two doses of the vaccine, this is not a booster dose for the general population,” according to the statement. 

Those eligible include people who have: 

  • active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies;
  • received a solid-organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressive therapy;
  • received CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant within the last two years;
  • a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency;
  • an HIV infection;
  • active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids.

·         District 2 health departments will administer doses on a walk-in basis, and patients must present a signed doctor’s statement including the specific health condition they have. People may obtain forms at 

·         The health department hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday. It is closed every day for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

·         Some pharmacies are also administering third doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for immunocompromised patients including CVS PharmacyKrogerWalgreens and Walmart. 

According to CDC recommendations, patients should not mix and match vaccines, meaning if someone has already gotten two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, their third dose should also be from Pfizer.

This story originally published in the sister paper Gainesville Times.