CDC on 8/13/2021 approved and now recommends that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose “booster” of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna) after the initial first 2 doses. The additional dose should be at least 28 days after last dose. Attempts should be made to continue on the same product that was given initially. At this time, no recommendation for subsequent dosing is available for those who have had the J&J/Janssen dosing, but further information is likely coming soon.
Further information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html
Further information from the National MS Society: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/Additional-COVID-19-Vaccine-Dose-(Booster)-and-MS
For those with neuro-immunologic conditions being treated with medications that lower your immune system, please reach out to your provider via portal messaging or phone call if you need further or specific recommendations. To contact your provider via MyChart messaging click here.
At this time no letter from a provider is needed, and patients can self-identify at vaccine site.
For MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS and NMO patients – if you are taking one of the following medications, you would generally be considered to be included in the recommendations:
- B cell depleting treatments
- Uplizna (ineblilzumab)
- S1P medications
- Mavenclad/cladribine –contact your provider as may depend on dose timing/lab counts/and provider recommendations
- Lemtrada/alemtuzumab – if you have received a dose < 1 year ago or if continued low counts
In general, patients on Betaseron, Rebif, Avonex, Copaxone, Aubagio, Tecfidera, Vumerity, Tysabri would not be included in the recommendation. However, depending on personal risk factors or if your provider has indicated that you have low WBC/lymphocyte counts, you may be eligible and contact your provider.
For those with planned Ocrevus/Rituxan infusions – in general, it is recommended to wait at least 2 weeks post-vaccine prior to infusion and please contact your infusion center/provider if you plan to get a vaccine and have an upcoming infusion.
We expect more information to be updated from the Minnesota Department of Health and other primary health care organizations soon and will update these recommendations as needed.