Third Doses of COVID-19 Vaccination Available for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised Individuals

Sep 17, 2021

Western Health is advising that third doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available for immunocompromised individuals.

Some individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, including those receiving immunosuppressive therapies, may have a lower immune response to COVID-19 vaccines compared to the general population.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now recommends that individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive three doses of an authorized mRNA vaccine if they have not yet been immunized; or an additional dose of an authorized mRNA vaccine if they have previously received a one or two dose primary series, including those who received a mixed vaccine schedule.

For individuals who have already received a one dose or two dose primary series, the minimum interval between the last COVID-19 vaccine received and the additional dose is 28 days. Individuals with these conditions can have an increased immune response after receiving an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine. NACI has identified individuals that are moderately to severely immunocompromised as those with the following conditions:

  • Active treatment for solid tumour or hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, WiskottAldrich syndrome)
  • Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies:
    anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids (The Canadian Immunization Guide defines high dose steroids treatment as prednisone equivalent of ≥ 2 mg/kg/day or 20 mg/day if weight > 10 kg, for ≥ 14 days), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive.

Even after an additional dose, individuals who are immunocompromised may still have reduced protection. Therefore, it is recommended that these individuals continue to follow recommended personal public health measures and that their close contacts, including household contacts and healthcare workers, receive a COVID-19 vaccine to help to protect the immunosuppressed person.

Individuals that are moderately to severely immunocompromised may receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccine clinic, a participating pharmacy or physician’s office. Verification of the condition is not required. For more information on offering the additional dose for immunocompromised individuals, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/statement-september-10-2021-additional-dose-covid-19-vaccine-immunocompromised-following-1-2-dose-series.html

COVID-19 vaccination clinics scheduled for the remainder of September in the Western Health region are as follows:

Bonne Bay Area - Bonne Bay Health Centre

Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Corner Brook Area - Valley Mall 

Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 30, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.          

Pop Up at Civic Center Parking lot

Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Deer Lake Area

Salvation Army Church, Deer Lake, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pop Up Clinic, Coleman's Food Centre, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pop Up Clinic Salvation Army Church, Deer Lake, Sept. 29, 12 to 8 p.m.

Port Aux Basques Area - Port aux Basques Lions Club           

Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Port Saunders Area - Rufus Guinchard Health Centre

Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Stephenville Area- Stephenville Lions Club

Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While booking an appointment is encouraged, individuals can walk into any of these clinics to receive their vaccine without an appointment. Vaccination appointments will soon be added to the booking system for October.

To book an appointment at one of the clinics in the Western Health region, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/vaccine/gettheshot/