COVID-19: Additional dose of vaccine authorized
Immunocompromised people may now receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced that, effective immediately, Kansas providers may now administer an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and have already been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
According to KDHE, this follows the recent expansion of the emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration for these mRNA vaccines, today’s recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and acceptance by the CDC Director. This EUA does not apply to those who received the Janssen/J&J vaccine as there is currently not enough data to determine if an additional dose of Janssen/J&J vaccine will improve immune response in people who are immunocompromised.
“The data shows us that the vaccine efficacy in some people who are immunocompromised is significantly lower than in people who are not immunocompromised,” said Lee Norman, M.D., Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Additionally, people who are immunocompromised make up to 44 percent of hospitalized breakthrough cases in the United States. This additional dose may enhance the immunity for those who need extra protection from COVID-19.”
This additional dose is recommended for people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised due to a health condition or medical treatment. This includes:
• Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies;
• Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy;
• Receipt of CAR-T-Cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant;
• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency;
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection;
• Active treatments with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
KDHE continues to urge people who are immunocompromised, including those who receive an additional dose of mRNA vaccine, to continue to follow prevention measures including:
• Wear a mask;
• Stay six feet apart from others they don’t live with;
• Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces;
• Close contacts of immunocompromised people are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Brown County, the number of people who have received two doses of the vaccination is 2,891. In Nemaha County, the number of people who have received two doses is 4,259.
In the state of Kansas, the number of people who have received two doses of the vaccine is 1,167,189, making 43.3 percent of eligible Kansans vaccinated.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, in the United States, 168.4 million people have been fully vaccinated.
Nemaha County has 36 active cases as of Monday, Aug. 16, while Brown County is reporting 22 active cases as of Friday, Aug. 6. Since the onset of the virus, the number of COVID-related deaths in Nemaha County is 55, while the number in Brown County is 32.
NCCHS updated COVID-19 numbers as of Monday, Aug. 16. The number of positive cases is 1,699. There are zero patients hospitalized. According to NCCHS,1,578 cases are considered recovered.
According to the Brown County Health Department’s Facebook page, Brown County currently has had 1,195 positive cases as of Aug. 6. There is one patient currently hospitalized.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is reporting 25 specimens sequenced with eight variants of concern detected in Brown County. There are two alpha variants and six delta variants. In Nemaha County, KDHE reports that 31 specimens sequenced with 28 variants of concern detected. There have been eight alpha variants and 20 delta variants.
State, National Statistics
As of Monday, Aug. 16, there are 347,928 positive cases in Kansas. While there are nearly 348,000 positive cases throughout the state, 1,203,118 tests have come back negative.
KDHE also reports there have been a total of 12,151 hospitalizations from COVID-19 since the virus’ onset.
As for deaths in Kansas, there have been 5,385 related deaths.
To see detailed information on positive COVID-19 cases in Kansas, as well as types of active clusters, visit www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov.
Nationally, there are a total of 36,556,516 confirmed cases in the United States, as of Monday, Aug. 16. These positive cases have resulted in 618,591 COVID-related deaths.
In the state of Kansas, KDHE reports that there have been 3,989 variants of concern and 52 variants of interest with 6,555 specimens sequenced. Ninety-two Kansas counties are reporting variants of COVID.
Nationally, there are 398 total sequences with variants of concern reported.
If you are sick, be sure to call your local healthcare provider before arriving to their facilities. With changes in restriction occurring frequently, please call for any restriction updates to any clinic or hospital in Nemaha or Brown counties.
Be sure to stay informed with reliable information at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, or check out the NCCHS or Brown County Health Department Facebook pages for regular updates. Also, feel free to call NCCHS at 785-284-2152 for more information.