Breaking News
More () »

CDC: Immunocompromised eligible for 4th COVID shot as early as this week

"I wouldn't be surprised if every fall going forward we'll get a combination flu shot and a COVID shot," Dr. Winter said.

DALLAS — Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations, people with weakened immune systems could receive a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine as early as this week. 

Meanwhile, local experts predict a "series" of COVID shots may become the recommended norm for everyone.

Israel is reporting positive results with a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine among the elderly and immunocompromised. In recent comments, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the CDC remains in close contact with its Israeli counterparts and that the efficacy of a fourth dose recommendation in the United States is still being studied. 

The CDC considers a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines part of the primary immunization schedule with a fourth shot or booster recommended for the moderately or severely immunocompromised six months after the third dose

But, for the larger population, the CDC is still focused on shots one through three.

"Right now, I think our strategy has to be to maximize the protection of the tens of millions of people who continue to be eligible for a third shot before we start thinking about what a fourth shot would look like," said Walensky.

"I think the fourth shot is still in the future. It may not be distant future. But I think we've got enough work on our hands to focus on right now in the near future with us here in the U.S," said Dr. Mark Casanova with the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Taskforce.

"We have to emphasize that we're learning about this new virus, this new variant, indeed every day. So, we'll know later. But right now, it's not unlikely that we'll need a booster from time to time probably on an annual basis," added Dr. David Winter with Baylor Scott & White Health

"I wouldn't be surprised if every fall going forward we'll get a combination flu shot and a COVID shot," Winter said. "I can just see the boosters being required for both of those every year." 

Additionally, Casanova suggests COVID vaccinations may become a series of shots, perhaps as many as four, just as is the accepted protocol for immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis and more.

But each physician, experiencing a surge in cases related to the Omicron variant this month, agrees with the CDC that the focus is still on getting as many people that first shot as possible. 

"Pragmatically where we're at right now in the midst of Omicron, we really need to be looking at individuals getting their first shot, for those that are unprotected and for those who have been vaccinated to get their booster," Casanova said. "At the end of the day, there's still value still go out there and get a shot whether it be your first, second, or third." 

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out