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Immunocompromised authorized to get COVID-19 booster shot

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: - U.S. health regulators have authorized an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with weakened immune systems to better protect them from the virus. The announcement Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration applies to millions of Americans who take immune-suppressing medicines because of organ transplants, cancer or other disorders.

The decision does not apply to otherwise healthy individuals. Health authorities are closely monitoring if and when the general population will need a booster shot but say for now, the vaccines continue to be highly effective in most healthy people.

The FDA could soon give the green light for those that are immunocompromised to get a third COVID-19 vaccine. Some of those could be seniors living in nursing homes.

Philip Gluck is almost 100 years old and lives at the Catholic Care Center, a retirement community in Bel Aire. His caregiver, Stacey Vonfeldt, says he’s had the Pfizer vaccine.

“He inspired me, I got mine,” said Vonfeldt.

Jennifer Sanders with the Catholic Care Center says 99 percent of the residents here are vaccinated.

“They were lined up six feet apart asking, when do I get to go, when is it my turn,” said Sanders.

She says some of the residents do have health conditions and need extra care and would welcome a potential third booster shot.

“We know how to hold vaccine clinics now, so we are ready and waiting and will do what every it takes to protect our residents and associates.”

Sanders says by the end of October everyone will be required to have a vaccine, including staff. It’s a call AARP is asking of nursing homes too. Its nursing home dashboard currently shows only 56 percent of healthcare workers in the state are vaccinated.

Vonfeldt says Gluck would be happy to do his part and get another vaccine if he can.

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