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CDC recommends fourth booster shot for immunocompromised Americans

Starting later this week, some Americans will become eligible for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Another shot is coming for millions of Americans as the country battles the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19. 

According to new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans with weakened immune systems can get a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine as early as this week.

Due to the nationwide surge of COVID-19 infections, the CDC also recently shortened the initial waiting period of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine recipients; now, those who received their first two doses of either vaccine only have to wait five months instead of six to get a booster. 

Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson broke down all the new guidelines today at a press conference.

"So, in terms of the people who are immunocompromised, they have been recommended to have an additional dose...whereas most people with a two-dose vaccine get two doses and would get three with a booster," said Johnson. 

The CDC's current guidelines note that those who are eligible for a fourth dose must be moderately or severely immunocompromised and have difficulty retaining immunity. Plus, recipients must wait five months since their third booster shots.

Johnson also noted the reality of another booster for the rest of the country may not be far off.

"We are analyzing the data on a continuing basis...but there's no recommendation for people at this point to get a second booster or a fourth dose unless they're immunocompromised," she said.

Meanwhile, the CDC advises those who received the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine get a booster shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines two months after their first dose.

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