DENVER – Colorado is telling vaccine providers to go ahead and give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people with compromised immune systems after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation to proceed on Friday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the state has enough doses of the two mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – to start giving third shots to moderately to severely immunocompromised people in Colorado immediately.
That includes people receiving treatment for cancers, who have received an organ transplant, those who have received a stem cell transplant in the past two years, people with advanced or untreated HIV, and people with moderate-to-severe immunodeficiencies.
The CDPHE said for the moment, people who received either the Pfizer or Moderna shot series are the ones recommended for a booster shot. People should only get a third dose if it’s been at least four weeks since they finished their two-dose sequence. Studies involving booster shots for people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are still underway.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is recommending people get the same brand of vaccine that they received the first time but says people can get a different brand if that is the only option.
The state says it is working with local public health agencies to get people eligible their third shots. Walgreens said it is among the providers already prepared to deliver third shots to people who want them.
The state’s news release does not say any proof a person is immunocompromised would be required.
ACIP voted unanimously to recommend the booster shot for the at-risk group Friday, a day after the FDA amended its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to include allowances for the third shot.
“We want to make sure Coloradans most at-risk of severe outcomes have the best protection they can against the deadly COVID-19 virus,” said Diana Herrero, the deputy director of the division of disease control and public health response at the CDPHE. “Administering an additional dose of the vaccine for these Coloradans will help us increase their protection and prevent more severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
As of Friday, 3.2 million Coloradans had been fully vaccinated, and 3.5 million had received one dose.