Given the current state of the Delta variants impact on New Jersey (and elsewhere) the CDC recommends getting an additional Covid-19 vaccine dose/booster shot, especially right now for those who are immunocompromised.

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In addition, the CDC issued a statement on Wednesday clarifying the nature of their recent study and their plan to offer additional doses in the next few weeks to immunocompromised people first and then everyone else.

You're being encouraged, when it's your turn, to get that additional dose and line it up to get it 8-months after you received your 2nd vaccine dose, mainly Moderna and Pfizer.

Here is part of their statement:

"Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.

“We have developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence. We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose. At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster. We would also begin efforts to deliver booster shots directly to residents of long-term care facilities at that time, given the distribution of vaccines to this population early in the vaccine rollout and the continued increased risk that COVID-19 poses to them.

“We also anticipate booster shots will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Administration of the J&J vaccine did not begin in the U.S. until March 2021, and we expect more data on J&J in the next few weeks. With those data in hand, we will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J booster shots as well."

In Ocean County, the Health Department is preparing for that plan now.

The OCHD issued a statement of their own Wednesday as well stating that they will be providing Covid-19 vaccines for those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems at all of the OCHD vaccine clinic locations.

The immunocompromised people who are eligible now to get a 3rd dose include:

· Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies.

· Receipt of a solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy.

· Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant(within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy).

· Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as Di George syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).

· Advanced or untreated HIV infection.

· Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (~20mgprednisoneor 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 Ocean County Health Department recommends that "people should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them."

When you go for your 3rd shot, bring your current COVID-19 vaccination record card identifying which 2-dose vaccine was administered prior and on what dates.

If you still need to get your 1st or 2nd dose of the vaccine, the OCHD reminds you that they hold vaccination clinics at Ocean County College from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

If you need to be tested at any point, a new clinic is being set up/the return of an old one, as starting today, the COVID-19 drive-thru testing site returns to Ocean County College and will be open every Wednesday and Friday for PCR testing from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

Inspiring Images of NJ Medical Professionals Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine