The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is dropping the recommend time between third and fourth Covid shots for immunocompromised people to three months, from five.
The move has been made to shore up protection against the virus for the most vulnerable of Americans as the country plans to move to a post-Omicron – and potentially post-pandemic – world.
While the Omicron variant is more mild than other strains, it still can cause death and kills over 2,000 Americans every day.
Experts have voiced that public health officials should work to end the pandemic for a majority of people, and target immunocompromised people in virus mitigation efforts to continue to protect them as the world returns to normal.
The CDC has revised its recommendations for immunocompromised people to receive their fourth Covid jab three months after receiving their third, down from the previous recommendations of five months (file photo)
Since last fall, immunocompromised people have been eligible for one additional Covid shot when compared to the general population.
A third dose of the jab was offered to the immunocompromised to shore up protection last year when data was showing that protection from the original two-dose regimens was beginning to wear off.
The CDC estimates that around seven million Americans meet the guidelines to qualify, according to CNN.
Last month, a fourth dose was offered to the immunocompromised as well in an effort to shore up protection even further in the wake of the highly-infectious, vaccine-resistant, Omicron variant taking over the nation.
The fourth dose was not available until a person was five months removed from their third, though, meaning that people who waiting until Omicron arrived to get their third dose will not be eligible to receive the shot until spring.
This move by the CDC allows the stragglers to get the extra shot as soon as next month if they received the jab when Omicron was first detected in America in December.
‘The rationale for this decision was out of an abundance of caution to help this population that may not be as well protected get their booster dose sooner, particularly with concerns about initial immune response, loss of protection over time and high community transmission due to the Omicron variant,’ Elisha Hall, a CDC health education specialist, said Friday.
It also clarifies to vaccine providers to allow immunocompromised to receive the fourth shot, after their were reports that some people were being turned away when arriving to receive the additional shot.
Greater focus on people with specific vulnerabilities to Covid has been called for by health experts.
Not only would it allow for them to get the added protection they need to survive the last stages of the pandemic, but it would also allow for everyone else to return to normal life.
Dr Stefanos Kales, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical school, last month he published an article on LinkedIn calling for pandemic-related measures to be focused on the vulnerable instead the population as a whole.
‘We badly need to allow the general public, particularly the young, to get back to normal life,’ he wrote.
‘… It is like trying to stop a snowstorm by catching each and every snowflake, rather than keeping the roads open by plowing.’
According to official CDC data, 64 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid and just over one in every four have received a booster dose.
The agency does not include additional doses specifically distributed to the immunocompromised in its regular data reporting.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk