Army Medicine Europe provides additional COVID vaccinations for immune compromised

By Kirk FradySeptember 8, 2021

Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)
Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger) (Photo Credit: Markus Rauchenberger) VIEW ORIGINAL

SEMBACH, Germany – Army medical treatment facilities in Europe are now offering an additional dose of COVID vaccine for immune compromised beneficiaries.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals who are immune compromised receive an additional dose of the COVID vaccine.

According to the CDC, this includes patients who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer, organ and stem cell transplant recipients, and those with advanced or untreated HIV infections.

A full listing of immune compromised conditions that qualify for an additional vaccine dose can be found on the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

“Army medical treatment facilities in Europe have contacted, or attempted to contact, their enrolled beneficiaries with known immune compromised conditions to schedule vaccine appointments,” said Col. Scott Mower, force health protection officer for Regional Health Command Europe. “Enrolled immune compromised beneficiaries not yet contacted, and non-enrolled immune compromised individuals eligible to receive vaccination, should schedule an additional vaccination appointment by following their medical treatment facility’s process or procedure.”

Senior health officials indicate that being high risk is not the same as being immune compromised. As it stands, only those individuals who are immune compromised are eligible to receive an additional shot.

High risk, according to the CDC, is someone with pre-existing conditions who are at a higher risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19. This includes, but is not limited to, long-term care facility residents, persons with diabetes, persons with heart disease, etc. However, being high risk does not currently qualify someone for an additional shot.

“Immune compromised individuals who completed either a Pfizer or Moderna two-dose mRNA vaccination series, may be given a third dose of the same vaccine product,” said Mower. “However, if the same, or identical, mRNA vaccine is not available, then either type of mRNA vaccine may be administered.”

“Presently, immune compromised patients who received the single dose Janssen vaccine are not recommended to receive an additional vaccine dose,” added Mower. “However, we expect data on this population to be forthcoming soon.”

U.S. health officials are currently examining the merit of administering a COVID booster to healthy Americans who have been fully vaccinated.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Health are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether, or when, a booster might be necessary for our healthy population,” said Thompson.