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Health Department: Enough vaccines available to cover additional doses

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For people who are already vaccinated and have a condition that weakens their immune systems, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and Bureau of Public Health on Monday approved the use of an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Dr. Sherri Young, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said they are now opening up their doors to people who want that additional dose.

“And that could be anyone from an organ transplant to someone receiving chemo, on steroids or immune modulating medications that weakened the immune system,” Young said.

She said if someone has a weakened immune system and got both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they will need a third of either. An extra dose is still suggested if they received the single Johnson & Johnson shot.

“If you got your initial dose with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can still get an additional dose, but it will have to be the Pfizer or Moderna,” Young said. “What the third dose does is introduce it again into the immune system so the body has a better understanding basically of the COVID 19 molecule.”

Dr. Young said they have enough doses to cover the current population that needs a shot. The health department can also do home visits for those with a weakened immune system.

“Right now, we have a plentiful supply -- enough to do everyone we would anticipate for immune compromised. If that recommendation opens up, we will work with them to get additional doses,” Young said.

The health department is open during the week for anyone who wants to come in and get a vaccine. On Saturday, there will be a vaccine clinic at the health department where additional doses will be given.

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