Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Implementing CDC Recommendations on Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for Individuals With Compromised Immune Systems
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that at the advice of Connecticut Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford, he is directing Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine program to implement the recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday regarding the administration of third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to allow for certain individuals with compromised immune systems to receive a third dose. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend a third dose for these individuals.
Specifically, recipients of solid organ transplants and others who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are advised to receive a third dose of that vaccine at least four weeks following their second dose. The CDC’s latest guidance on the third dose does not apply to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“The Connecticut Department of Public Health will work with providers and the public to ensure that individuals who need a third dose can get one,” Governor Lamont said. “Our vaccine providers stand ready to provide COVID vaccines in line with these updated recommendations.”
Governor Lamont added that in line with federal guidelines, prescriptions or provider referral is not required for immunocompromised individuals to receive a third dose of a COVID vaccine, although the recommended time between the second and third dose is at least four weeks.
Individuals who meet the criteria for additional doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can make an appointment or attend a walk-in clinic at any COVID vaccine provider location, including pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, or doctor’s offices. Individuals who are not sure whether they meet the criteria for a third dose should consult with their healthcare provider to discuss this further.
“This recommendation will apply to a relatively small number of individuals in Connecticut and we do not anticipate any challenges with adequate vaccine supply,” Commissioner Gifford said. “We have a broad and strong network of vaccine providers, including approximately 400 pharmacy locations alone, across the state that are ready to administer additional COVID 19 vaccine doses in line with these recommendations.”
People are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised if they are/have:
- Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
- Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
- Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health will be working with vaccine and clinical partners in the coming days to implement this new policy.