People who meet the eligible criteria are encouraged to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

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FILE – A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country. An announcement was expected as soon as this week, with doses beginning to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) encourages eligible individuals to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as Delta variant cases continue to rise.

CUPHD partners with Carle Health, OSF Health Care, Christie Clinic, and Promise Healthcare to offer the third dose for those who meet certain requirements.

“The third dose of Pfizer or Moderna is not a booster shot and not intended for the general community member. What is available now is a third dose of the original shot, specifically recommended for people with compromised immune systems,” said Deputy Administrator and Epidemiologist at CUPHD Awais Vaid.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published information about eligibility criteria for the third dose of the COVID vaccine. People are eligible when they are considered to have a weak immune system and it has been 28 days or more since they got the second dose. The FDA and CDC also recommend people to get the third dose with the same vaccine as their first and second dose.

Officials said the special conditions that make a person eligible for the third dose include:

– Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
– Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
– Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to
suppress the immune system
– Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
– Advanced or untreated HIV infection
– Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your
immune response

No other criteria are eligible for the third dose at this time.

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