Immunocompromised New Yorkers can officially seek a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Federal regulators approved the policy change late last week, following a string of studies and public health reports that showed the vaccine response wanes in immunocompromised groups but that they can be reinforced with an additional shot.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released an advisory over the weekend saying the policy change would take effect Monday. New Jersey’s Health Commissioner opted to follow the new guidance immediately following the authorization last Friday. New York State Department of Health announced Monday morning that it was also following suit.
The booster shots are only authorized for people who originally took the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, not Johnson & Johnson. Potential takers must also seek the same brand they received for their first and second doses. A third shot can be sought at any provider, regardless of where the initial doses were received.
Qualifying groups in New York City include cancer patients and people on therapies that might weaken the immune system, such as organ transplant recipients, those on high doses of corticosteroids and people who’ve received a stem cell transplant in the last two years. People with advanced HIV or other immunodeficiencies can also receive third shots.
“For other health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, we do not recommend a third dose at this time,’ Dr. Dave Chokshi said at City Hall briefing on Monday, while also answering whether people without pre-existing conditions need a third dose. “The simple answer is that right now you do not. But scientists are working around the clock to learn more.”
New Yorkers who are immunocompromised should discuss getting a third dose with their doctor. Learn more about which medical conditions qualify and how to make an appointment for your third dose: https://t.co/98XWKSv4Gu
— Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD (@NYCHealthCommr) August 16, 2021
New York state and New Jersey officials say their qualifications match those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that interested parties should ask their health care providers for details.
New Yorkers will need to bring along their vaccine cards and will be required to attest that they have a qualifying medical condition. No other documentation will be required.