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Third dose of vaccine now available for immunocompromised

As of this week, both the Decatur County Health Department and Memorial Hospital and Manor are now offering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the immunocompromised. According to a press release by the Georgia Department of Public Health, the third dose “is intended to move immunosuppressed patients to a fully vaccinated state for the first time.”

Among the conditions it defines as immunocompromised/suppressed are:
•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

Lee Johnson, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Memorial Hospital, spoke to the Post-Searchlight on the third dose. “We would like to have some proof you’re immunocompromised,” he said. He also clarified that the hospital will only be offering the Moderna vaccine, and that the third dose be taken roughly a month (28 days) after the second dose.

Johnson also wanted to remind people that the hospital is still performing walk-in vaccinations every Wednesday, from 2:00 to 4:00, no appointment required. “We’re kind of trying to do it by demand or request,” Johnson said. “The more people show interest, the more we’ll try to do it.” He concluded by encouraging people to get the vaccine, stating, “Protect yourself, protect others, get vaccinated. Because once you get it, it’s not just about you, but the others around you… It’s a selfless act, in my opinion.”

For further information on vaccination, check Memorial Hospital’s Facebook page, or contact them by phone at (229) 246-3500.