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Additional COVID vaccine offered to immunocompromised

Additional COVID vaccine offered to immunocompromised Additional COVID vaccine offered to immunocompromised

The Harrison County Health Dept. is offering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised patients with the following conditions:

People who are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;

Patients who have received organ transplants and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;

People who have received a stem cell transplant within the last two 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; or

Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune system.

Patients should talk to their health care provider about their health condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. Patients should receive the third dose no earlier than 28 days from the completion of the second dose in the series, and individuals should receive the same brand of vaccine as the first two doses.

The additional dose applies to ages 12 and older and currently only includes patients who have received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Physician letters are not required in order to receive a booster dose.

Patients receiving the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine do not need a booster dose at this time, according to health officials.

The COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people age 12 and older, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future.

According to Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant now or in the future.

Data show that pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill if infected with COVID-19, Murthy said, and the highly contagious Delta variant makes it even more important for eligible people to get vaccinated.

“There is no evidence to show that getting a vaccine increases the risk of miscarriage,” according to Murthy.

The CDC’s recommendation is based on further evidence about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and a new analysis of current data from the CDC’s v-safe pregnancy registry.

Also, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Professional associations (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and others) and the CDC all recommend pregnant people receive a vaccination or vaccine series; no doctor approval is needed to get vaccinated.

The Indiana State Health Dept. COVID-19 dashboard released last Wednesday showed 11 of the state’s 92 counties now designated red, up from eight the previous week. Red is the highest level of concern while blue is the lowest. Harrison remained in orange, the second highest level. Sixty-one other counties were designated orange, while 19 were a step down as yellow. No counties had blue status.

An additional 284,813 COVID tests were performed statewide within the past week, 594 of them in Harrison County, bringing the total to 11,954,570 (22,208 for the county) since the pandemic reached the state nearly 17 months ago. The number of positive coronavirus cases in Indiana is at 829,010, up from 806,094. In Harrison County, a total of 5,126 positive cases have been recorded, an increase of 268 since last week.

An additional 142 Hoosiers are reported to have died in the past week from COVID, bringing the total to 13,885, with an additional 435 people believed to have died from the virus but no test was performed to confirm. The number of Harrison Countians who have died from COVID remains at 81, according to the Harrison County Health Dept.

Statewide, 3,058,170 Hoosiers are considered to be fully vaccinated against the virus; 16,350 are Harrison County residents, an increase of 269 since the previous week.

Harrison County health officials said they will provide additional guidance and information as it becomes available.