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Oct. 16, 2021

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Immunocompromised? Here’s how to get a third COVID vaccine dose in Washington

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SEATTLE — People with moderately or severely compromised immune systems qualify for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, the state Department of Health officially recommended an additional dose for certain immunocompromised people. The recommendation applies for those who already received an mRNA vaccine, which include Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

“A third dose of Pfizer or Moderna will provide those who need it extra protection and help shield some of our most vulnerable from the highly contagious delta variant,” Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said in a statement. “Science continues to show vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The third shot is to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series. It is not the same as a booster dose, which is administered to strengthen protection that wanes over time.

A person receiving a third dose should wait at least 28 days after their second dose and when possible, should receive the same vaccine brand.

Immunocompromised people who have received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not being recommended to seek an additional dose at this time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also does not recommend additional doses or boosters for any other population at this time.

Who qualifies for a third vaccine dose?

According to the CDC, these people should consider a third dose:

  • Those actively receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Individuals who received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Individuals who received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Those with advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Those actively receiving treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People are advised to speak with their health care providers about their conditions and whether they should get an additional dose.

The best way to find a vaccine appointment in Washington is to use the Department of Health tool, which allows users to filter appointments by the vaccine brand and other options.

In Seattle, UW Medicine has vaccine appointments available in Ballard, Belltown, Factoria, Federal Way, First Hill, Fremont, Issaquah, Kent-Des Moines, Lake Forest Park, Northgate, Ravenna, Shoreline, South Lake Union, University District and Woodinville. Those looking for a third dose should call 206-520-8700.

King County also recommends checking for walk-in or scheduled appointments at their partner sites at Kaiser Permanente clinics or other sites in Auburn, Bellevue, Kent, Redmond, Renton, Seattle and Snoqualmie.

King County also has in-home vaccination service for those with an injury, developmental disability or medical condition that makes it difficult to leave their homes.

People looking for an appointment should call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977.

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