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Fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for immunocompromised

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 19:42:02-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns who are immunocompromised are at greater risk from COVID-19 and should get four doses of MRNA vaccines, according to Dr. Hannah Imlay, an infectious disease expert from the University of Utah.

The vulnerable individuals may need the fourth dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in order to stay protected from evolving variants of the virus.

Imlay's statements are in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said the immunocompromised need more of the vaccines to get their immune system able to fight off Coronavirus, and even then, they are at greater risk.

"They have a higher risk with any vaccine strategy, a higher risk of severe disease and death," said Imlay, adding that her patients deserve consideration from the majority with healthy immune systems.

Even with the protection of a vaccine, Dr. Imlay explains that it's also up to the general public to help keep these vulnerable community members safe.

"It's really a population that needs to be protected and needs to be protected by the rest of our actions," Imlay said, referring to getting vaccinated, wearing masks and being careful about social distancing.

There are diverse reasons people are considered immunocompromised. They include people with diseases like HIV, Lupus and Type I Diabetes. Also, people under medical treatments like chemotherapy, bone marrow or organ transplants are considered to have weakened immune systems.