August 20, 2021

Who should get a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines? Antibody testing?

Who should get a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines?

Those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems (which may be different from those who have underlying conditions or co-morbidities) are people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Please read more about who qualifies here: COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People | CDC.

COVID-19 Antibody Tests:

COVID-19 antibody tests are NOT recommended at this time.

These tests measure whether your immune system has made antibodies against the disease. The antibody test provided at Huggins Hospital is a qualitative test and should not be used as a way to discover, quantitatively, how much of the antibodies are present. If you are in the categories above with a moderately to severely compromised immune system, you should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna if you had either of those vaccines for your first two doses. If you do not fit in the categories above, you will be eligible for a booster vaccine once you are 8 months past your second dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (see below):

Booster Vaccines:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement on August 18, 2021 stating they have developed a plan to begin offering booster vaccines this fall subject to FDA evaluation and CDC review. The boosters would be available to anyone once they are 8 months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines. They anticipate booster vaccines will be needed for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will have more information once more data is collected. You can read more about booster vaccines here: Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC.

Schedule Vaccines:

You can schedule your COVID-19 vaccines online for Huggins Hospital’s Vaccine Clinic at www.HugginsHospital.org/covid-vaccine. In the comment section at registration, you will need to include your qualification reason if you are scheduling for a 3rd dose (ex: active cancer treatment for cancer of the blood). If you are scheduling for any other dose, please note this in the comments as well.