Immunocompromised Northlanders can seek third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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If you are immunocompromised and received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna, you can get a third shot to boost your immunity to COVID-19.

Johnson and Johnson, however, has not yet been fully authorized for an additional dose, so unfortunately, those patients will have to wait for the time being.

Essentia Health said they have begun the process of offering immunocompromised patients their third dose.

“Essentia continues to focus on those needing their initial vaccine series and then the qualifying immunocompromised patients for those third doses,” Roseann Hines, Senior Operations Manager of Medical Use Management at Essentia said.

Hines explained that while patients who got Pfizer or Moderna are encouraged to get the same brand they originally got, they can get the alternate if need be.

"Say you had Pfizer for your initial series, but it was not available in your region or due to shortage issues or access, the CDC did support use of the Moderna or alternate product,” Hines said.

Hines added that Essentia is planning to ramp up their operations to handle both booster shots and flu shots with fall fast approaching.

“Our teams are already engaging in conversations of when and where we would open up additional sites,” Hines said.

Meanwhile, St. Luke’s is finalizing plans to offer a third shot to immunocompromised patients.

Health officials say they are looking into the possibility of offering the general public booster shots in time. For now, those who are immunocompromised and would like to receive a booster shot should contact their healthcare provider.