COVID vaccine: Milwaukee Health Department starts 3rd doses

(Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) announced it will begin administering third COVID-19 vaccine doses to all eligible individuals on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

On Aug. 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modified the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow use of an additional dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for immunocompromised people who may not be fully protected from the first two doses. 

MHD's announcement follows CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) guidance.

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Additional vaccine doses for those who qualify will be available at the Northwest Health Center – near 76th and Mill – and Southside Health Center – near 24th and Lapham – without an appointment.

Those receiving the additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose will not be required to provide written proof of their eligibility. Those who are unsure if they qualify to receive the additional dose should check with their health care provider first.

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Eligible individuals include, but are not limited to, those 12 and older with:

  • 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 (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (≥20mg prednisone or equivalent daily), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

The CDC recommends individuals receive the same COVID-19 vaccine  – Pfizer or Moderna – for the additional dose as they received for the first two doses. If the vaccine product received for the first two doses is unavailable, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

At this time, there is insufficient data to support additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals who received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should not seek out an additional mRNA vaccine dose.

At this time, booster doses for individuals with normal immune systems, whose immunity may have waned over time, are not recommended. 

The Milwaukee Health Department will adhere to evolving guidance from federal and state authorities.


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