“Over the past almost year and a half I have taken care of many patients with a life-threatening disease, and including deadly disease, and even after a vaccination” who are immunocompromised, Dr. Camille Nelson Kotton, a transplant and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the panel in strongly supporting boosters for patients with weak immune systems. “They’re just suffering from a lack of good vaccine protection, we know that vaccine efficacy is diminished in this population.”
The FDA approved third doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for “solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.”
“Currently there are no data to support the use of an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose after a primary Janssen Covid-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people. FDA and CDC are actively working to provide guidance on this issue,” the CDC’s Dr. Neela Goswami wrote in her presentation to ACIP.
About 10% of immunocompromised patients say they will “definitely not” be receiving a Covid vaccine, another 9% say they are “unsure” or will “probably not” receive a shot and 44% said they “definitely will” receive a vaccine. Those who are hesitant tend to be younger, part of an ethnic or racial minority, or female.
Immunocompromised patients make up roughly 2.7% of the U.S. adult population and 44% of hospitalized breakthrough infections, where someone gets infected even after they’ve been fully vaccinated.