Advice for severely immunosuppressed people to get third vaccination

Pharmaceutical

The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has published advice that encourages those with seriously debilitated immune systems to get another (third) dose of the covid-a9 vaccine.

The additional dose is advised to be available for those over the age of who were severely immunosuppressed when they have the initial doses. Some examples of people who would be eligible are those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. The reason for an extra dose is that their bodies may not have built up a full response to the first and second dose, so have the potential to be more at risk than the average person.

“The additional dose is advised to be available for those over the age of who were severely immunosuppressed when they have the initial doses. Some examples of people who would be eligible are those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants“

The OCTAVE, a multi-centre, multi-disease, prospective observational cohort trial, has primary data which demonstrated that most immunosuppressed people had an immune response after 2 doses, but approximately 40% of people experienced low levels of the antibodies.

The aim is for the additional vaccine to take place a minimum of 8 weeks after the second, however some leeway is needed to account for times when immunosuppression it’s highest and lowest e.g. after surgery it may be too high.

Seriously immunosuppressed individuals will receive a separate booster dose after a select period on the back of the third one.

There is a distinct difference between the third vaccine and the booster. The third dose is to ‘top-up’ immune defence for the people who may not have produced a full response initially. The booster dose is to extend the protection period after the first vaccination course.

Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI, Professor Wei Shen Lim, said “We want people with severely suppressed immune systems to have the best chance of gaining protection from COVID-19 via vaccination. Therefore, we are advising they have a third vaccine dose on top of their initial two doses, as we hope this will reduce their risk of severe outcomes such as hospitalisation and death.”

See all the latest jobs in Pharmaceutical
Return to news