Global Statistics

All countries
547,115,085
Confirmed
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
519,385,360
Recovered
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
6,346,653
Deaths
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
547,115,085
Confirmed
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
519,385,360
Recovered
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
6,346,653
Deaths
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
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Can Immunocompromised Get Covid Vaccines

What Qualifies As Immunocompromised

Coronavirus Q& A: Vaccination when immunocompromised

The term immunocompromised is used to represent a wide variety of conditions and medications that impair immune system function. These include patients with:

  • Primary immunodeficiencies present from birth, such as:
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency
  • Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
  • B-cell expansion with NF-B and T-cell anergy or BENTA disease
  • Secondary immunodeficiencies due to medical conditions, such as:
  • Leukemia
  • Organ transplant recipients or those taking medications to suppress the immune system
  • Stem cell transplant recipients within the last 2 years or those taking medications to suppress the immune system
  • What Does The Data Show

    A growing body of research shows that a first booster or third COVID-19 vaccine dose, which is recommended for all Canadian adults, raises antibody levels, cuts death rates and hospitalization.

    But there is limited data to back the need for a fourth dose or additional subsequent doses, experts say.

    Read more: Do we need booster shots to fight Omicron? Experts divided

    It is, in my view, somewhat early to start thinking of a fourth dose when the third dose itself hasnt been fully deployed in our population, said Dr. Ciriaco Piccirillo, an immunologist and senior scientist at the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre .

    As of Sunday, 9,810,166 people or roughly 25 per cent of the Canadian population had received a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to covid19tracker.ca.

    Piccirillo believes a two-dose or triple-dose vaccine series should be more than sufficient for people who dont have pre-existing conditions and who have normal immune systems.

    However, subsequent boosters are likely very important for the elderly, immunocompromised individuals and cancer patients, he added.

    Israel, which is now administering fourth doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to people over 60, health workers and immunocompromised patients, has played a leading role in studying the effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

    The Bottom Line For Immunocompromised Individuals

    The real efficacy test is still underway for all 3 COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S.âhow many fully vaccinated people become infected with SARS-CoV-2 under real-world conditions? Initial breakthrough infection data indicates that the vaccines provide a high level of protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and may provide sterilizing immunity for variants that were circulating in the U.S. in the first several months of 2021. But new data suggests that, while vaccines still provide a high level of protection against severe COVID-19, they do not always provide sterilizing immunity against the Delta variant or the Gamma variant.

    These new data mean 2 things for those who are immunocompromised. First, if vaccine protection in immunocompromised patients is already lower than in the general population, protection against variants that escape vaccine-induced sterilizing immunity is likely even further reduced. Second, immunocompromised individuals may not be safe from infection even within highly vaccinated populations.

    The ground is still shifting more than a year into the pandemic. Additional studies that look specifically at vaccine protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in immunocompromised patient populations are most likely to provide clear answers.

    Keep up to date on COVID-19 research with ASM’s curated COVID-19 Research Registry.

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    Why Werent People On Immunosuppressant Medication Included In The Clinical Trials

    It is common to not include people who are on medications that can affect the immune system, including oral corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs , biologics, and cancer treatment in vaccine clinical trials.

    This is because these vaccines may work less effectively . The trials need to first understand how the vaccines work in healthy adults before they can be studied in other patient populations.

    You can read more here about the exclusion criteria for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial who was not allowed to be in the study.

    Other Registration And Booking Options

    US authorizes third Covid vaccine shot for the ...

    If you don’t have a Personal Health Number , you need to register by phone. A PHN will be created for you.

    Call: | Translators are available

    Seven days a week, 7 am to 7 pm | Holiday hours may be different

    Outside Canada and the USA:

    Telephone for the Deaf: Dial

    Video Relay Services provides sign language interpretation free for registered deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired people.

    You can register in-person at all Service BC offices.

    Office hours vary by location. Check before you go.

    Everyone can get vaccinated, even if you dont have a PHN or other documentation.

    It doesn’t matter if you are a Canadian citizen or not. Register even if you have already received dose 1 in another location. All of your information will be kept private and will never be shared with other agencies or parts of government.

    You can get a flu shot at any time before or after the COVID-19 vaccine. Find a flu clinic.

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    Cdc Says Some Immunocompromised People Can Get Fourth Covid Shot

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

    Details: People over 18 who are “moderately to severely immunocompromised” and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

    Worth noting: For immunocompromised people, the third COVID-19 vaccine shot is classified as an “additional dose” by the CDC, and the volume given is the same as that of the first two shots.

    • For such people, however, the fourth dose is considered a “booster,” and the volume given is only half the amount given in the first three doses.

    The CDC last week gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

    Information For Parents Caregivers Or Legal Guardians

    Under the New Brunswick Medical Consent of Minors Act, children can give consent as a mature minor to receive health care, like getting a vaccine. Under certain conditions they do not require parental consent however, it is preferred that parents/legal guardians consent to immunizations for minors younger than 16.

    For more information on Mature Minor consent for COVID-19 vaccination: PDF

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    If You Have An Underlying Health Condition

    If you have an underlying health condition, it is safe for you to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Participants in the clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines had a range of different ethnicities, ages, sexes and underlying health conditions.

    We encourage you to get the vaccination if you have:

    • serious respiratory disease, including chronic lung disease and severe asthma
    • a serious heart condition

    If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

    Are Vaccines Always Off Limits

    Gravitas | COVID-19 Vaccines: Immunocompromised Americans to get a 4th shot

    Not necessarily. If you have a compromised system, talk to your doctor about risks and benefits specific to your condition. Then weigh your options carefully, Kirchner advises.

    Timing is everything in some cases. Patients whose disease may progress to the point of needing biologic drugs in a few years might want to get vaccinated sooner rather than later, for example, before the opportunity closes to receive that vaccine and get critical protection from shingles.

    Anybody whos a candidate should get the herpes zoster vaccine while theyre still a candidate, Kirchner says.

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    Why Are Additional Vaccine Doses So Important For The Immunocompromised

    For immunocompromised people, the meaning of being fully vaccinated was already shifting before this was a consideration for the general population, says Dr. Liew. People who are on immunomodulatory or immunosuppressant medications need three shots as their primary regimen for these people, a booster would be a fourth shot, after the third.

    In other words, whats considered a booster for the general population would be comparable to a fourth dose in the immunosuppressed, which can now be administered five months after the third dose.

    Each time the immune system safely encounters a germ or an antigen, it enables the antibody response to really blossom not only in terms of how much antibody you make but also how diverse that antibody response is, says researcher Alfred Kim, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Immunology at Washington University, who has extensively studied how immunosuppressant medication affects COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness. This means it can anticipate new variants, even though it has never seen them before. The boost or any additional doses really play a critical role in optimizing the antibody response, even in the immunocompromised.

    Boosters are also recommended for immunocompetent people because the immune response naturally declines over time and additional doses may help protect against variants like Omicron. If youre immunocompromised, its very important for those around you to get their COVID booster.

    Reporting Of Vaccine Adverse Events

    Adverse events that occur in a recipient following COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS. Vaccination providers are required by the FDA to report the following that occur after COVID-19 vaccination under BLA or EUA:

    • Vaccine administration errors
    • Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
    • Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death

    Reporting is encouraged for any other clinically significant adverse event, even if it is uncertain whether the vaccine caused the event. Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

    In addition, CDC has developed a new voluntary, smartphone-based tool, v-safe. This tool uses text messaging and web surveys to provide near real-time health check-ins after patients receive COVID-19 vaccination. Reports to v-safe indicating a medically significant health impact, including pregnancy, are followed up by the CDC/v-safe call center to collect additional information to complete a VAERS report, if appropriate.

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    What Is The Difference Between An Additional Primary Dose And A Booster Shot

    • Additional primary dose: A primary vaccine series is administered to induce an immune response in healthy people. However, immunocompromised people cannot build enough immunity from the two-shot primary vaccine series. This can increase their chances of severe illness and death. Therefore, a third dose called an additional primary dose may greatly increase their chances of achieving the necessary protection against COVID-19.
    • Booster shot: A booster shot is given when immunity buildup from the primary vaccine series wanes over time. Booster shots enhance immunity.

    What Side Effects Can Children Get From A Covid

    FDA set to authorize extra Covid vaccine doses for ...

    Vaccine side effects in kids ages 5 to 11 are mostly mild and similar to those adults may experience, according to the CDC, including soreness at the injection site, fever, muscle soreness, nausea and fatigue.

    Inflammation of the heart muscle, known as myocarditis, and of the muscle’s outer lining, called pericarditis, are rare and typically mild side effects linked to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, mostly in adolescent males and young men.

    The FDA specifically indicated there were no reported cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in the Israeli study on booster doses for 12- to 15-year-olds.

    In one study, the CDC said that 54 recipients out of a million males ages 12 to 17 experienced myocarditis following the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine. In contrast, kids ages 5 to 11 who catch COVID-19 have a higher risk of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, a potentially serious complication involving inflammation of the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or other organs.

    “The bottom line is that getting COVID is much riskier to the heart than anything in this vaccine, no matter what age or sex you are,” Dr. Matthew Oster, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, told the CDC in November, ABC News reported.

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    If Your First Dose Was Received Outside Of New Brunswick

    If you received your first dose outside of New Brunswick and have lived in New Brunswick for at least four weeks, you can register for your second dose.

    If you received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine outside of New Brunswick, please reach out to your local Public Health office. Contact information can be found online.

    Know About Covid Treatment Options

    Formulate a game plan for what youll do if you do become infected.

    More important than knowing your risk of a bad outcome is actually knowing where you can act to try and protect yourself, says Dr. Liew. I know its an even greater burden on people who have already been burdened for two years on how to stay safe and protect themselves, but unfortunately I think thats where were at.

    Now is the time to talk to your doctor about potential treatment options should you become infected with COVID-19. These include:

    Antiviral pills: Both Merck and Pfizer have received FDA authorization for antiviral pills, which need to be taken within five days of symptom onset to be effective. These are now becoming available at pharmacies with a doctors prescription.

    Monoclonal antibody treatments: Ask your doctor where you can get these treatments particularly Sotrovimab, which is the monoclonal antibody treatment that works against Omicron.

    With Omicron, most of the monoclonal antibody treatments we were using before are not effective, says Dr. Liew. The one that is effective, Sotrovimab, is in short supply and its hard to figure out how to get an infusion at this point.

    Remdesvir: This is an antiviral drug administered to hospitalized patients. It prevents viral replication by stopping RNA transcription prematurely, per the National Institutes of Health. However, its not always helpful by the time a patient is hospitalized with COVID-19.

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    Effect Depends On The Patient

    The immune response to the vaccine is dependent on the degree of immunosuppression a patient has, explained Dr. Sanghavi. For example, a recent transplant patient would have a much more aggressive regimen of immunosuppression because the acute risk for rejection of an organ is very high upfront in the first six months.

    For one year after that, the immunosuppression has kind of backed off and that’s when the innate immunity of the patient takes over, he added. So, a patient who was freshly transplanted may not be able to mount a response to the vaccine as much as compared to somebody who had an organ transplanted 10 years back or somebody who is cirrhotic and has liver disease.

    They may still have some kind of innate immunity and may be able to mount a response, but not as robust as the general patient population, Dr. Sanghavi continued. And likewise for end stage renal disease patients or the elderly patient population who still may have response, but the antibody levels may drop down after a while as compared to a normal, healthy patient.

    How Effective Is The Pfizer Vaccine

    Immunocompromised patients begin receiving 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

    Heres how the clinical trial worked. Researchers enrolled nearly 44,000 people age 16 and older half were randomized to get the COVID-19 vaccine and half were randomized to get a placebo vaccine. Participants got two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart. Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who got the vaccine vs. the placebo. Then the researchers wait to see who gets naturally infected with COVID-19 and analyze differences in infection rates in people who get the vaccine compared with the placebo.

    The main finding is that vaccine efficacy was 95 percent by seven days after getting the second dose. However, benefits start about 14 days after the first dose . The efficacy was 52 percent after getting the first dose.

    The efficacy did not meaningfully differ by participants age, sex, race/ethnicity, or certain comorbidities .

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    Why Are Breakthrough Infections Occurring

    Even though its very important to get vaccinated to protect yourself from COVID-19 a particularly severe illness no vaccine is perfect, which weve known from the beginning.

    The Delta variant may be more likely to cause infections among the vaccinated because of how this particular strain takes hold in the body, explained journalist Apoorva Mandavilli in a New York Times article. COVID-19 vaccines are injected into the muscle of your arm, where they rev your immune system to produce antibodies in your blood.

    Some of these antibodies wind up in your nose, but because the Delta variant seems to flourish in the nose, and the amount of virus transmitted is much higher, according to the Times, there may not be enough antibodies to sufficiently fight it off, which could explain why more people than scientists expected are experiencing breakthrough infections and cold-like symptoms.

    However, the vaccine does equip your immune system to fight off the virus before it can infect the lungs or damage other organs, which explains why the vaccine is still critically important and lifesaving.

    Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses, write the researchers. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose.

    Is Omicron Like Returning To March 2020 Or Lockdown All Over Again

    If it feels like youre reliving the early days of the pandemic with Omicron, youre not alone Heres how to cope emotionally with the letdown of another variant or spike in cases.

    In a lot of ways, were reliving the early- to mid-2020 time period, says Dr. Kim. Not only should the immunocompromised be thinking about doing the best they can to mitigate risk, but there also needs to be a concerted effort to really make sure the immunocompetent people around them are doing their best to .

    However, theres reason for hope: At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew much less about how COVID-19 spreads and had far fewer ways to prevent and treat it.

    There are many reasons as to why now is different from the start of the pandemic number one is that we have vaccines and boosters, says Dr. Shah. Number two is that we know good masking can prevent infection. Number three, we have several treatment strategies in terms of antivirals that have recently been approved. We also have monoclonal antibody cocktails, which we did not have at the beginning of the pandemic.

    All of these developments are key for those who are immunocompromised and high risk for COVID-19. While our current situation may feel eerily familiar, know that there is hope ahead with emerging data, preventive measures, and treatment.

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