On August 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise. This action does not apply to people who are not immunocompromised.
People who are immunocompromised have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases, and they are especially vulnerable to infections, including COVID-19. The FDA evaluated information on the use of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines in these individuals and determined that the administration of third vaccine doses may increase protection in this population. These patients should be counseled to maintain physical precautions to help prevent COVID-19. In addition, close contacts of immunocompromised persons should get vaccinated, as appropriate for their health status, to provide increased protection to their loved ones. We must do everything we can to protect our Native elders, children, and communities. The COVID-19 vaccine offers strength and hope in this new fight to stop the spread and bring this pandemic to its end. If you or your relative are considering receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine, please check out this resource created by the National Indian Health Board on Questions to Ask Your Provider. Remember, getting the COVID-19 vaccine and wearing a mask is an Act of Love.