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St. Luke’s is Scheduling Third Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines
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Those working with St. Luke’s Mobile Vaccine Clinic, championed by community activist Herbert Romero, said they got a good turnout Thursday and Friday in the Wood River Valley. KB’s Burritos handed out nearly two dozen free tacos to those getting vaccines Friday night in Bellevue.
   
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

St. Luke’s Wood River and other St. Luke’s hospitals are now scheduling appointments for moderately and severely immunocompromised patients who want a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccines Moderna and Pfizer.

Those who want a third dose—or even a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to schedule through the myChart app. Visit https://Stlukesonline.org/myChart or call 208-381-9000

The Hailey clinic is handling Moderna vaccines; the Ketchum clinic, Pfizer.

There may be wait times at St. Luke’s clinics if a patient does not have a scheduled appointment due to current patient volumes. But St. Luke’s will continue to meet the need for walk-ins. Individuals should bring their vaccination cards with them to their appointment.

It’s also anticipated that there will be increased traffic to myChart and calls to St. Luke’s clinics. If someone cannot get through immediately, they are encouraged to keep trying.

Some commercial pharmacies are also providing third doses.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

  • Been 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

Some immunocompromised patients did not get as much protection against COVID-19 as others so the additional dose is intended to improve their response to their initial vaccine series. The CDC is recommended those people get a third dose at least four weeks after their second dose. The CDC is not recommending additional shots for others at this time.

It’s recommended that the third dose be the same brand as the initial two doses, but that’s not necessary if that brand is not available. At this time, an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose has not been recommended by the CDC for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine full approval on Monday. The drug will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty for those 16 and older. And it’s elevation above emergency authorization is expected to pave the way for vaccine mandates by businesses and other organizations.

The Pfizer vaccine is still be used for those between the ages of 12 and 15 under emergency use authorization.

While Wood River did not admit any new COVID patients over the weekend, St. Luke’s Magic Valley had 46 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital Saturday and 45 on Sunday. St. Luke’s admitted 157 COVID patients to all of its hospitals Sunday, with 153 the day before.

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