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Oklahoma State Dept. of Health offering fourth dose of COVID vaccine for immunocompromised

Posted at 9:28 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 07:15:02-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Dept. of Health is offering added protection against coronavirus for those who may need it most. People who are immunocompromised can now receive a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine.

OSDH said the CDC made the decision to recommend it in October.

“They have decided that if you’re moderately or severely immunocompromised, the three doses that you get, that’s their primary series of the vaccine," said Erica Rankin-Riley, public information officer for the Oklahoma State Dept. of Health. "So, if you’re not moderately or severely immunocompromised, two doses is considered your primary series.”

The state health department is now scheduling appointments for the fourth dose for people who received their third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in August. It’s recommended to receive the third or the fourth dose five months after completing your primary series of vaccines.

But, why is this fourth dose needed?

“For those people who do have those compromised immune systems, getting them boosted and vaccinated to the point where their body has antibodies in it and can fight this virus when and if they come into contact with it," Rankin-Riley said.

As the omicron variant spreads, Oklahoma is breaking state records for COVID case numbers.

OSDH reported more than 11,000 new cases on Friday and more than 1,300 hospitalizations, including 43 children.

Rankin-Riley said, for the last week of December, 30 percent of people infected with COVID-19 were fully vaccinated.

“So, basically, of that 30 percent that were breakthrough cases, 80 percent of those people were eligible for a booster dose, but didn’t get one," Rankin-Riley said.

While the fourth dose is available for immunocompromised people, it’s unclear yet when or if it will be available to others.

The state health department recommends talking to your doctor about getting the fourth dose. You can find vaccine appointments here.

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