Third Dose of mRNA Vaccine Available for Immunocompromised Individuals

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The Tennessee Department of Health is acting upon recent guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding an additional dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals.

On August 13, the CDC accepted ACIP recommendations for an additional dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This includes approval for a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (approved for individuals age 12 years and above) and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (approved for individuals age 18 years and above). The recommendation from the CDC does not include approval for an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Tennesseans should talk with their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Based on the recommendations from the FDA and CDC, moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals, are defined as:
• Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

For more information on the CDC’s recommendation for an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is available online.

A notification has been sent to all Tennessee providers with information on these recommendations. Providers are encouraged to begin offering the additional dose option to eligible patients. Visit to find a vaccine site offering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Patients do not need to prove their diagnosis to be eligible for an additional vaccine dose.

Local health departments across the state will be administering the additional dose option with no appointment necessary.

Individuals seeking more information on the COVID-19 vaccines can visit
or to schedule an appointment with a local vaccine provider.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at

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