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Parkland now offering third COVID-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised people

Anyone wanting a third dose must meet certain criteria to show they are immunocompromised.

DALLAS — Parkland Hospital in Dallas began offering a third vaccine dose to immunocompromised patients on Tuesday, following U.S. health officials' authorization earlier this month.

The third shot will be available to immunocompromised people who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. People who received the Johnson & Johnson shot are not currently eligible for an additional dose.

Anyone wanting a third dose must meet certain criteria to show they are immunocompromised.

Parkland officials said patients must meet one of the following criteria: Have received a transplant (kidney, liver, bone marrow, etc.); have a medical condition that lowers the immune system, such as cancer, HIV, lupus or auto-immune conditions; or are currently taking medicine that lowers the immune system's response.

Parkland released a list of examples of immune-lowering medications: Adalimumab (Humira), Infliximab (Remicade), Mycophenolate (Cellcept), Tacrolimus (Prograf), Azathioprine (Asasan), Mercaptopurine (Purixan), Rituximab (Rituxan), Tofacitinib (Xeljanz), Etanercept (Enbrel), Methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Rheumatrex or Trexall), Steroids (Prednisone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone).

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If you're eligible, you can schedule a vaccine appointment through your Parkland MyChart account online or by calling the Parkland COVID Vaccine Hotline at 214-590-7000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Drive-through shots without an appointment will be available at the Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St. in Dallas, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

UT Southwestern in Dallas is also offering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people.

UT Southwestern said it plans to begin giving a third dose to everyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine beginning Sept. 20. Health officials recommended the third dose be given eight months after a person's second dose.

There are currently no plans or recommendations for an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

North Texas hospitals have been near capacity in recent weeks as the Delta variant has fueled a surge in COVID-19 cases. A majority of the people hospitalized have not been vaccinated against the virus.

Parkland last week said it was preparing to open a fourth ward, if needed, to handle the influx of COVID-19 patients.

As of Friday, 147 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 at Parkland. Of those, 126 were not vaccinated, officials said.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, upgrading it from its emergency use status.