SPRINGFIELD – Memorial Health System began scheduling a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccines today at its drive-thru lab on South Sixth Street for people with compromised immune systems.
The nonprofit hospital’s announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation on Aug. 13 of a third dose of the Moderna and PfizerNTech COVID-19 vaccines for people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems who are at least 12 years old. The day before, the FDA had amended its emergency use authorization to allow people with compromised immune systems to receive a third shot of both vaccines.
Some research has indicated that the vaccines’ effectiveness diminishes over time for certain patients with weakened immune systems.
“With the Delta variant creating another surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, it’s vital that we protect our most vulnerable patients from this virus,” said Dr. Anna Richie, clinical director of Memorial Physician Services ExpressCare. “This third dose will ensure that we are able to do that.”
To receive the third dose, patients can go online to schedule their visit at Vaccination.mhsil.com. A doctor’s order is not required. The Memorial Drive-Thru Lab on South Sixth is at 2950 S. Sixth St.
The third shot will be available to the following patients:
Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress their immune system.
Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years and are taking medicine to suppress their immune system.
Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
Have an advanced or untreated HIV infection.
Are receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune system.
The third shot must be given at least 28 days after patients had received their second dose, according to the CDC recommendation.
The Pfizer vaccine is administered to patients who are 12 years old and older; the Moderna vaccine is for patients who are at least 18 years old. An additional shot has not been approved for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.