BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Lee County Health Department will begin offering booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fort Madison office at #3 John Bennett Drive, to a specific population with moderately or severely compromised immune systems.
Lee County Health Department Administrator Michele Ross said LCHD is limiting the shots to those that can attest to having a condition that meets booster guidance.
“Right now LCHD only has the green light from the state per the (Centers for Disease Control’s) recommendations to offer boosters to people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems,” she wrote in an email Wednesday morning.
“We can offer boosters to this population now at least 28 days after their last dose of Moderna.”
Ross wrote anyone who is going to pursue a booster should talk to their health care provider first about their medical condition and whether a booster is appropriate.
“When we administer the booster doses, individuals presenting will self-attest they meet the recommendations and sign a consent form/checklist and receive updated vaccine informational sheets before the vaccination. We will verify when their last dose was and what vaccine they received to assure we are following all vaccine safety protocols.”
Ross said those getting the booster will still be monitored for 15-30 minutes after the injection.
She said there is some national news about opening the boosters to the general population eight months following the last dose and that guidance could come at any time to Iowa vaccinators, however they haven’t received authorization to offer those yet.
Appointments are requested and those planning to receive a booster shot, should bring your vaccination card that verifies the dates of your first two Moderna doses.
The CDC’s Independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine following their initial 2-dose vaccination series. The recommendation includes the following for people:
- 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
According to a release from LCHD Wednesday morning, widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop this pandemic. At a time when the Delta variant is surging, an additional dose could help prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 cases within this population. It’s important to note that CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.
Individuals can self-attest and receive the additional dose wherever vaccines are offered. This will help ensure there are not additional barriers to access for the vulnerable population receiving a needed booster dose. CDC will be providing further information regarding vaccine administration to immunocompromised individuals.
LCHD will continue to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Wednesdays for those who are seeking first doses of Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. As new information comes available to LCHD it will be added to the LCHD website (www.leecountyhd.org) and Facebook page.