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MSDH recommends consideration of a booster dose for immunocompromised patients

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:03 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The COVID-19 vaccine isn’t showing the same level of protection for some high-risk patients. Now — the Department of Health is recommending doctors consider a booster dose.

To be clear, it’s not a suggestion for the general public.

December will make three years since Kimberly Cooley’s liver transplant. She was hopeful that she could get back some sense of normalcy when the vaccine was made available.

“I still went and got the vaccine with hope that I would be one of the ones who would develop or would build antibodies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t,” explained Cooley.

Her weakened immune system failed to produce any antibodies at all. In other words, she doesn’t have the much-anticipated protection from COVID.

“I exclude myself from a lot of events unless I know that everyone is vaccinated, and that’s unfortunate, but that’s just another sacrifice that I have to make to keep myself alive and healthy during this pandemic.,” added Cooley.

It’s cases of immunocompromised patients like Cooley that prompted the Department of Health to issue this health alert to doctors statewide Friday. They’re recommending consideration of a booster dose for immunocompromised patients. It’s not guidance that’s come from the CDC or FDA at this time.

“We’re gonna lose people today, and we can’t wait,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs during Friday’s Mississippi State Medical Association zoom call. “We have to use the available evidence to at least give our blessing; if you as a physician think it’s right for your patient, we’re going to agree with you.”

The health officials add that it should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Cooley says she’s hesitant to pursue a third dose till there’s national guidance.

“The FDA hasn’t given a nod for that third shot, and as I said before, transplant patients, we’re very complex,” said Cooley. “Our medication it’s just like twisting a rusty knob to make things work. It’s not exactly the smartest idea to go get something that the FDA has not specifically spoken on yet.”

The health alert isn’t a mandate but does suggest doctors may do an antibody test on immunocompromised patients to help determine if a booster dose is needed.

Read full health alert HERE.

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