DENVER — UCHealth is expanding clinics to get third shots into arms for people who fall in the first two phases of the initial rollout.
Donna Bolte, 75, signed up for her third vaccine on her UCHealth app. She received her first Pfizer vaccine in February. As a transplant recipient, she’s worried about the delta variant.
“The delta variant kind of freaks me out a little because of how contagious it is,” Bolte said.
Bolte received a liver transplant from her son 13 years ago. She spent years on a waiting list to become eligible for a transplant after being diagnosed with liver disease.
“It’s a lot easier for any kind of virus or bacteria or something to invade my system than it would be to invade someone else’s system,” Bolte said.
Immunocompromised people include organ recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, people with HIV and more. They makeup 3% of the population and account for a large portion of breakthrough cases. To help protect them against COVID-19, the FDA authorized the third vaccine.
“The first two doses never get them to the level [of protection] that they need. Getting that third dose will get more of them to the level that’s needed,” said Dr. Thomas Campbell, chief clinical research officer with UCHealth.
Campbell said vaccine protection significantly drops for people with weak immune systems over time compared to healthy people.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing everything I can to protect myself,” Bolte said.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 22,773 people have received the third vaccine.