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North GA – North Georgia Health District officials announced that public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties will provide a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to certain patients with weakened immune systems.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine at least 28 days after completion of the initial two doses. This recommendation does not include Johnson and Johnson vaccine recipients.
Eligible immunocompromising conditions for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine 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 DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (≥20mg prednisone or 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
Eligible patients must request a third dose of the vaccine, and to receive it, they may either provide documentation from their physician or self-attest to one of the medical conditions above by signing a consent form.
The vaccine is free, and no appointment is needed to receive COVID-19 vaccine at the county health departments in the North Georgia Health District; however, an appointment may be arranged, if desired, by calling ahead. Phone numbers and addresses for county health departments in North Georgia are available here on our home page.
NOTE: THE 3RD COVID-19 VACCINE DOSE IS NOT THE SAME AS THE COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT. THE 3RD DOSE OF PFIZER OR MODERNA COVID-19 VACCINE IS ONLY FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE WITH WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS WHO MEET THE CONDITIONS LISTED ABOVE. THE TENTATIVE NATIONAL PLAN FOR COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS IS TO OFFER A BOOSTER TO ALL AMERICANS BEGINNING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 20 AND STARTING 8 MONTHS AFTER AN INDIVIDUAL'S SECOND DOSE. PLEASE LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOSTER SHOT HERE.