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Health dept. recommends COVID booster shots for high-risk groups

Dr. Jerry Young, National Baptist Convention, USA President receives first dose of COVID-19...
Dr. Jerry Young, National Baptist Convention, USA President receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.(WLBT)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi State Department of Health’s top doctors are recommending COVID booster shots for those in high-risk groups.

State Epidemiologist Paul Byers sent a letter to physicians and clinicians across the state advising they consider a third dose or booster COVID-19 vaccine for people with immunocompromising conditions.

These conditions include:

  • Active or recent treatment for solid tumor or hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ or recent hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • Severe primary immunodeficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV
  • Treatment with immunosuppressive medications such as cancer chemotherapeutic agents, TNF blockers, certain biologic agents (e.g., rituximab), and high-dose corticosteroids
  • Chronic conditions associated with varying degrees of immune deficit, such as asplenia or chronic renal disease.
  • Other underlying medical conditions and treatments that may lead to immunosuppression based on the physician or clinical team assessment.

Byers also recommends waiting at least four weeks after a final dose before administering a booster.

This comes as COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Mississippi, leading to a sharp increase in hospitalizations. MSDH estimates more than 80 percent of COVID-19 in the state right now is due to the Delta variant.

Since April 1, they’ve confirmed more than 35 vaccine breakthrough deaths, meaning the person contracted COVID after being vaccinated and died. The median age of these breakthrough deaths is 79 years old and they range between 49 and 99 years old.

Eighty-four percent of vaccine breakthrough deaths are 65 years and older. Fifty-eight percent had a known immunocompromising condition.

Click here to read the full letter.

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