Newly issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that some immunocompromised people may need a fourth COVID shot. Over the summer, the CDC authorized a third dose for some immunocompromised people. The agency considers a third dose different from a booster shot, which was recently authorized for all three coronavirus vaccines available in the United States.
"Moderately and severely immunocompromised people aged ≥18 years who completed an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received an additional mRNA vaccine dose may receive a single COVID-19 booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen) at least 6 months after completing their third mRNA vaccine dose. In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses," the CDC explained.
The CDC is not recommending that everybody who is immunocompromised get an additional shot and said that a healthcare professional should make a decision on a case-by-case basis.
The CDC said that there are about nine million people who are considered immunocompromised in the country, including people who are currently undergoing treatment blood cancers and tumors, those who have undergone certain organ transplants, stem cell recipients, people with HIV, and those who are taking drugs that suppress their immune systems.