Saturday, December 4

Third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Puerto Rico: who can receive it and since when



Puerto Rico has decided to follow the same line as the United States regarding the application of a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine in those people who live on the island who have previously completed their immunization schedule.

According to the EFE agency, as of this Wednesday, August 18, the Puerto Rico Department of Health announced that Those over 12 years of age will already be able to receive the third dose of the anti-COVID vaccine, as long as they have some risk of contagion or developing severe disease due to having a weak or depressed immune system.

“Given the increase in infections and the variants that have emerged from COVID-19, studies have indicated that a third dose of protection could help reduce the risk of severe disease or death in people with a compromised immune system,” explained Iris Cardona, the main local health medical officer, in a statement.

“In this sense, a third dose in this group of people will serve to increase the level of antibodies since they have a reduced capacity to fight infections and other diseases. The recommendation is that this population group go to their nearest provider to receive the additional dose ”, he added.

The additional doses to be applied will be Pifzer / BioNTech vaccines (12 years and up) and Moderna (18 years and older), after last Thursday the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorsed its administration in certain immunosuppressed patients, a decision reaffirmed a day later by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English).

Who will receive the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Puerto Rico?

1. People in cancer treatment.

2. Patients who have received any organ transplant and who is undergoing some immunosuppressive therapy.

3. People who have had a CAR-T cell or stem cell transplant in less than 2 years or that they take continue in some immunosuppression treatment.

4. Population with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (eg, Di George syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).

5. People with HIV.

6. People who follow active corticosteroid treatment in high doses (i.e., ≥20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, and others immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory biological agents.

An estimated 76,000 people live with these factors in Puerto Rico, so it is planned to have the doses of the third booster ready. It should be given at least 28 days after the person has received the second dose.

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