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Additional COVID-19 vaccinations are now being given by the Milwaukee VA Medical Center to immunocompromised Veterans as the virus continues to surge, fueled by the Delta variant.

In addition, plans are being made to give booster shots to all Veterans and employees, starting eight months after the initial administration of the vaccines.

Any Veterans who are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider to set up a time to get the third shot, said Dr. Kim Bell, head of pharmacy at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

The third dose is recommended only for people who received Pfizer or Moderna. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should wait for further guidance.

The additional dose is being recommended because data suggest it enhances the antibody response to COVID-19. Studies have shown that immunocompromised people have a reduced antibody response compared to healthy vaccine recipients.

Planning begins for COVID booster shots

On the horizon are booster shots for all others who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The FDA has yet to approve those shots, though that approval is expected soon. Boosters would begin the week of Sept. 20 at the earliest.

Those seeking booster shots should wait until eight months after they received their second dose, according to the CDC.

“We will not start doing that before FDA and CDC authorize it. We’re awaiting further direction from them,” Bell said. “But we’re beginning our planning.”

For more, see the story on the Milwaukee VA website.