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Certain immunocompromised patients now eligible to get fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine

A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. U.S. experts recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the immunocompromised.  (Robert F. Bukaty)

Immunocompromised individuals, including transplant recipients and those in active cancer treatment, are eligible for a fourth dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially suggested an additional dose for this group of patients last year.

Now, the CDC and the Department of Health recommend people in this category receive a fourth dose five months after the third dose was administered.

Health officials recommend patients consult their physicians about whether they should receive a fourth dose.

The health department also has extended the recommendation for immunocompromised children 5 and older to receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine 28 days after their second dose.

Health officials are also encouraging everyone who is eligible to receive a booster dose, which should be five months after your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

So far, 2.46 million people in Washington state have received a booster dose. In Spokane County, more than 129,000 people have been boosted.

Here’s a look at local numbers

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 682 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and one additional death.

There have been 1,214 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents.

There are 204 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county.

The Panhandle Health District reported 440 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths. There are 4,850 backlogged cases at the district still.

There are 104 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus. There are 92 patients being treated for COVID-19 at Kootenai Health.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.