People undergoing cancer treatment may be among those eligible for a third COVID-19 vaccine. (Shutterstock)

People undergoing cancer treatment may be among those eligible for a third COVID-19 vaccine. (Shutterstock)

S.F. offering third vaccine dose to people with immunocompromised health conditions

The San Francisco Department of Public Health will begin offering a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to residents with immunocompromised health conditions, city health officials said Wednesday.

Those eligible include people currently undergoing cancer treatment; recent organ transplant or stem cell transplant recipients; and those with advanced or untreated HIV infections; among other conditions.

The new advisory is in alignment with the latest guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, which cite vaccine trial results that showed benefits for people with immunocompromised conditions.

As the latest surge of COVID-19 continues across the nation, local health officials are recommending the third shot to further increase protection.

“Our strategy has always been to protect the most vulnerable in our community based on the latest available research and guidance from federal and state partners,” SFDPH Director Dr. Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement.

“With a third dose of an mRNA vaccine our intent is to prevent severe illness among people who may not have had a complete immune response to the initial 2-dose series. We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC for further eligibility expansion. For now, we ask that only individuals who meet the criteria for immune compromise request a third dose,” he said.

Health department officials anticipate those eligible for a third dose will be relatively small, as the CDC estimates just about 3 percent of the nation’s population qualifies. Eligible people should first talk to their health care provider about their condition before seeking out a third shot.

In addition to the latest health advisory, SFDPH will continue to provide a supplemental dose, or booster shot, of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine to people who previously received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose. Those seeking a supplemental dose are asked to first consult with their health care provider.

Immunocompromised people seeking a third vaccine dose can go to for more information or to make an appointment.

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