August 13, 2021
As you have probably heard on the news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted late last night Emergency Use Authorization of a booster third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for “some people who are immunocompromised — specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet today to discuss further clinical recommendations for immunocompromised people.
People with lupus may be immunocompromised – at greater risk for infection — if they have had a kidney or other organ transplant or treat their lupus with medications that suppress their immune system. Many lupus patients take drugs that can suppress the immune system including chemotherapy treatments and high dose steroids. Click here for the types of medications that the CDC lists as common lupus treatments.
“This announcement is very important for lupus patients many of whom routinely take immune suppressing drugs” noted Kenneth M. Farber, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Alliance. “We strongly advise them to speak with their rheumatologist or healthcare provider to learn more about this new option and if it may be right for them.”
Meanwhile, the LRA continues to monitor the situation and will keep you abreast of developments as more information becomes available.
UPDATE AUGUST 13 3:21 PM EST:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met and unanimously issued a recommendation for a third dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be provided to moderate-to-severe immunocompromised individuals. The CDC defined the recommended group as people who have undergone solid organ transplants, people with HIV, people taking immunosuppressant biologic drugs, and those with blood cancers and other conditions that impair the immune system. Next step, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD will need to approve this recommendation and issue an official guidance from the CDC. Again, we will keep updating this evolving story.
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