RockCoExec.png

Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2021
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

THIRD DOSE MODERNA AND PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINES

Now available to people moderately to severely immunocompromised

NEW CITY, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce that a third dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech (mRNA) vaccine is available to people with certain medical conditions that compromise their immune system. Recent data shows that persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional vaccine dose. 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

The recommendation by the CDC is for moderately to severely immunocompromised people to receive a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Currently, there is insufficient data to support the use of an additional Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine dose after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination series in immunocompromised people. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC are actively working to provide guidance on this issue.

Third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should be the same as what you initially received. If the vaccine given for the first two doses is not available, the other vaccine may be administered. A person should not receive more than three Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses.

"With the more contagious Delta variant circulating, we have entered another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeing more people being hospitalized with COVID-19. Public health experts recognize that immunocompromised individuals are more vulnerable to severe disease and would benefit from a third dose of an mRNA vaccine. In addition, close contacts of immunocompromised individuals should get fully vaccinated to provide increased protection to their loved ones. In addition to continuing to vaccinate our residents, our Health Department staff is ready to help provide third doses to certain immunocompromised people to provide them with the extra protection needed against COVID-19," said Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to keep from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, continue following the CDC's public health prevention measures, such as wear a mask indoors, stay 6 feet away from others not within your household, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are sick to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Visit http://rcklnd.us/covid19 to see our upcoming scheduled Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine clinics at the Rockland County Department of Health. If you need a third dose, you can walk in; no appointment is necessary. If you have health insurance, please bring your benefit card with you. The vaccine is free; however, the health department can collect an administrative fee from insurance plans. All are welcome regardless of immigration status.

Visit the New York State Am I Eligible webpage or Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine near you. You can also check your local pharmacy's website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available. For questions, more information, or if you need assistance scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call 845-238-1956 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday (except holidays).

For more information on an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html