CHD health departments offering COVID-19 vaccine third dose to immunocompromised individuals

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 10:24 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District is now offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people.

“It’s been found that people who are immunocompromised likely do not mount as much of a response to the regular vaccination two dose set and so they found that a third dose will enhance their immune response,” Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis said.

He said this will help further protect them and keep them out of the hospital, especially as the delta variant spreads in our community. Also, in discussion are booster shots for others eight months from their second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine. Those are expected in about a month.

“The efficacy in preventing infection in general declines over time, so it looks like it drops off about 6 percent every two months or so and it appears it continues to wane, that’s the antibodies. Fortunately, it appears that the cellular immunity that I alluded to earlier or that I mentioned remains intact,” Dr. Davis said.

Dr. Davis says this means your ability to fight off the infection remains, giving you a less severe case. While they are already offering third doses to those who are classified as immunocompromised because of a condition or medication, they say they are making plans for how to offer boosters knowing demand will increase.

“Early on last December and early January when people were frantically trying to get in and get a vaccination one of the biggest problems was, we didn’t have enough vaccine. There was a vaccine shortage, well we won’t have that unless something really crazy happens there will be no vaccine shortage this time. We’ve got a lot of practice in administering it and as I mentioned we’ve got good partners out there who are willing to jump up, jump in and help us again so hopefully, hopefully it’ll go much more smoothly this time,” Dr. Davis said.

At this time, the third doses are just for those who got Pfizer and Moderna. Dr. Davis says studies are ongoing for those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and he expects to learn more in the future.

Those seeking a third dose can provide documentation of their medical condition from their physician or sign a consent form attesting they have a qualifying condition. Examples of qualifying conditions include receiving an organ or stem cell transplant, undergoing treatment for cancer, having advanced HIV infection, or taking certain immune-suppressing medications. Click here for a full list of qualifying conditions.

The Coastal Health District serves Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. To make an appointment for vaccination at your local county CHD health department, visit or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Phone Line at 912-230-5506. Some vaccination sites allow walk-ins, but appointments are preferred at all sites and are required at the Long and McIntosh County Health Departments.

For more information on additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine, please visit

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