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CDC says immunocompromised Americans can now get a 4th COVID shot

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Immunocompromised Americans who have had a third COVID-19 shot can now get a fourth shot, according to newly updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the details?

Affected Americans are now eligible for a fourth coronavirus vaccine, according to a report from Insider.

The CDC's new guidance states that Americans can get a fourth dose of any FDA-approved coronavirus shots six months after receiving their third shot.

The guidance states, "Moderately and severely immunocompromised people aged ≥18 years who completed an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received an additional mRNA vaccine dose may receive a single COVID-19 booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen) at least 6 months after completing their third mRNA vaccine dose. In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses."

The CDC authorized a third dose for certain immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older in August.

What else?

Approximately 3% of the U.S. population is considered to be either moderately or severely immunosuppressed and at a heightened risk of COVID-19-related illnesses and death, Insider reported.

According to a Tuesday report from CNN, "A study from Johns Hopkins University this summer showed that vaccinated immunocompromised people were 485 times more likely to end up in the hospital or die from COVID-19 compared to most vaccinated people. In small studies, the CDC said, fully vaccinated immunocompromised people accounted for about 44% of the breakthrough cases that required hospitalization. People who are immunocompromised are also more likely to transmit the virus to people who had close contact with them."

Last week, Dr. Charles Bregier, medical director of Novant Health Employee Occupational Health and Corporate Health, said that some of the population might need the fourth shot.

"It's even recommended for some people who are significantly immunocompromised that they go and get a fourth dose of vaccine 30 days after the third dose if they're thought to be significantly immunocompromised or have their blood checked and find out they have zero or low antibody levels," Bregier said at the time.

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