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COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People
Updated Jan. 7, 2022
DEFINITION
Immunocompromised
Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic defects that can be inherited. Prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.
Primary Series Shots
People who are immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Everyone, including immunocompromised people, should receive a COVID-19 vaccine primary series if they are 5 years and older as soon as possible.
Additional Primary Shot and Booster Shot for Some Immunocompromised People
After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot.
Everyone 12 years and older, including immunocompromised people, should get a booster shot. If you are eligible for an additional primary shot, you should get this dose first before you get a booster shot.
IF YOU RECEIVED
Pfizer-BioNTech
Additional Primary Shot
People age 5+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
Given 28 days after 2nd shot
Booster Shot
Teens ages 12–17 should only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
People age 18+ should get a booster shot of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) in most situations
Given 5 months after additional primary shot
IF YOU RECEIVED
Moderna
Additional Primary Shot
People age 18+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Given 28 days after 2nd shot
Booster Shot
People age 18+ should get a booster shot of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) in most situations
Given 5 months after additional primary shot
IF YOU RECEIVED
Johnson & Johnson’s / Janssen
Additional Primary Shot
No additional primary shot is recommended at this time
Booster Shot
People age 18+ should get a booster shot of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) in most situations
Given 2 months after  1st shot
Who Is Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised?
People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:
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
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional primary shot is appropriate for them.
Scheduling Your Additional Primary Shot
If you need help scheduling your additional primary shot, contact the location that set up your previous appointment. If you need to get your additional primary dose in a location different from where you received your previous shot, there are several ways you can find a vaccine provider
What to Expect during and after Your Additional Primary Shot Appointment
Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your additional primary shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your additional primary dose. If you did not receive a card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
Use v-safe to tell CDC about any side effects. If you enter your additional primary shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins.
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Last Updated Jan. 7, 2022
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