Long Beach, CA – On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the Emergency Use Authorizations (EAUs) for both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for a third dose for certain immune-compromised individuals. Following the guidance and recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the Health and Human Services Department and COVID-19 vaccine providers in the city will begin offering third doses to those who have certain immune-compromised conditions.
“It’s important for folks who are immune-compromised to consider a third vaccine dose,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach will continue to offer vaccines to those who need them.”
The third vaccine dose is not a Delta booster; it is offered to people with very specific underlying health conditions to add another layer of protection to these immune-compromised individuals.
Studies indicate some immunocompromised people don’t always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do, and may benefit from an additional dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19. Insmall studies, fully vaccinated immunocompromised people have accounted for a large proportion of hospitalized “breakthrough cases,” and that suggests immunocompromised people are more likely to transmit the virus to household contacts.
Those eligible for a third dose include 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
Third doses can be administered at least 28 days after receiving the second dose of the two-dose series of Pfizer (for those 12 and older) or Moderna (for those 18 and older). To receive the third dose, the person must self-attest to currently having one of the above listed conditions. The third dose should be the same vaccine brand that was received for the first two doses.
The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer), as does CDC’s recommendation. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine. As such, at this time healthcare providers and the Health Department will not administer an additional vaccine dose for people who first received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
People who think they may require a third dose due to one of the above listed conditions should contact their health-care provider to receive this supplemental dose, or visit one of the City run vaccination sites. Requests for a third dose do not require documentation from a healthcare provider.
The City’s vaccine clinics are open six days per week across Long Beach and mobile vaccine vans can visit those who are unable to travel to a City vaccine site. Appointments for vaccines are encouraged, though not required. The schedule is posted in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog at longbeach.gov/vaxlb. People interested in scheduling an appointment or need further information may call 562.570.4636 or email Covid19Vaccine@longbeach.gov for assistance. Starting Thursday, August 19, people also may make appointments for third doses via My Turn.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People may also visit longbeach.gov/COVID19data for up-to-date information regarding cases and vaccines in Long Beach.