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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Do people with weak immune systems qualify for an extra Covid-19 booster shot?

People with certain illnesses or who are on treatments that weaken their immune systems will soon be able to get an extra Covid-19 booster shot. File photo.
People with certain illnesses or who are on treatments that weaken their immune systems will soon be able to get an extra Covid-19 booster shot. File photo.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

People with certain illnesses or who are on treatments that weaken their immune systems will soon be able to get an extra Covid-19 booster shot.

The health department announced it will soon be updating the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) so that this vulnerable group can walk in at a vaccination site and get a booster dose.

BusinessLIVE reported the system will be updated to allow people with weak immune systems, such as cancer or HIV, to come in for a booster shot, in addition to the booster they received last year.

The jabs offer less protection to people with weak immune systems. 

An immunocompromised person still qualifies for a booster shot on top of their extra dose.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), people who are immunocompromised should receive an additional Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose at least 28 days after receiving their last jab. 

The institute said those who are immunocompromised should be referred by their doctor for a booster dose.

People are considered immunocompromised if they have

  • Haematological or immune malignancy
  • Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency disorder
  • HIV infection with CD4 count < 200 cells/µL within the last 6 months
  • Asplenia

Individuals receiving treatment for high dose steroids or systemic biologics, long term renal dialysis and transplant recipients (solid organ or bone marrow) are also allowed to receive an additional Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose.

“The additional vaccine dose should be of the same vaccine type as the initial dose (or doses),” said the institute.

 


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