Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Safe for Immunocompromised

Local and systemic reactions reported less frequently after fourth dose versus dose 3 of primary vaccination series
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MONDAY, July 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A fourth dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine seems safe for immunocompromised individuals aged 12 years or older, according to research published in the July 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Anne M. Hause, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, and colleagues characterized the safety of a first booster dose (dose 4) at least three months after dose 3 and a second booster dose (dose 5) at least four months after dose 4 among immunocompromised persons aged 12 years or older during Jan. 12, 2022, to March 28, 2022. Adverse events and health impact assessments reported to v-safe and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) were reviewed. During the study period, about 518,113 persons received a fourth dose.

The researchers found that local and systemic reactions were less frequently reported among 4,015 v-safe registrants after the fourth dose compared with after dose 3 of the primary vaccination series. VAERS received 145 reports after fourth doses: 88.3 and 11.7 percent were nonserious and serious, respectively.

"Preliminary safety findings for booster doses among persons with presumed immunocompromise are similar to those among nonimmunocompromised persons; reactions are reported less frequently after booster vaccination than after the last dose of a primary series," the authors write. "It is important that health care providers, immunocompromised persons, and parents of immunocompromised children be advised that local and systemic reactions are expected after a booster dose, and that serious adverse events are rare."

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