FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The CDC Friday officially recommended a third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for those whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely.
Per the CDC, this includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
For those who received Pfizer or Moderna, a third dose of the same vaccine should be used, per the CDC.
Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said they’re communicating this CDC recommendation with medical providers in the county.
“If it’s been more than 28 days since your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna then you should go ahead and get a third dose because immunocompromised individuals are at increased risk of having hospitalization and even death related to coronavirus,” Vohra said.
Vohra added that the county has a vast availability of vaccines.
“We really feel like people can just go to their physician or even a vaccination site that’s based at a pharmacy and ask for those boosters there. That’s where we’re going to be directing people,” Vohra said.
Dr. Kenny Banh, the director of the UCSF Mobile HeaL COVID-19 Equity Project, said they’ll be offering the third shot of Pfizer for those who qualify to start Saturday with self-attestation. No doctor’s note is required.
“We’re ready to go,” Banh said.
Their vaccination clinic is located at the UC Merced Fresno Center across from Fashion Fair Mall. This CDC recommendation comes as Fresno County faces rising COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“The bad times are back,” Vohra said.
Per state data, there are 265 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in the county’s hospitals. Vohra said the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system has now switched to an assess and refer policy to help hospitals as they care for a high volume of patients.
“Meaning not all patients will be transported. If they’re determined not to have an emergency condition or can wait until they see their doctor or go to a more urgent care setting, then they won’t be transported to the hospital,” Vohra said.