MOULTRIE, Ga. – Colquitt Regional recently began offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibody infusions for approved groups.
Third doses are currently recommended by the CDC for immunocompromised patients that received the Pfizer or Moderna brand of vaccine initially.
Patients who are eligible for a third dose will fit into one of the following categories:
- Individuals receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Individuals who have had an organ transplant and or is taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Individuals who have had a stem cell transplant within the last two years or is taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Individuals with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Individuals with advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Individuals receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune system
- Individuals with any other medical conditions that cause the immune system to be moderately to severely compromised and for which the individual’s treating physician recommends they receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
Those who have been fully vaccinated and fit one or more of the above criteria are recommended to receive the same brand as their initial vaccination. A third dose may be administered as soon as 28 days following the second dose.
Once approved, booster doses may be administered to individuals who are otherwise healthy eight months after receiving a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are continuing to follow CDC guidance, as we have throughout the entire pandemic, and at this time, third doses are only advised for those who are immunocompromised,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “We expect an update in September on the group(s) that will be eligible for boosters. We will be updating our website and social media channels with that information, so please keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.”
According to the CDC, studies indicate some immunocompromised people don’t always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do. A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may benefit these individuals to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19.
Colquitt Regional is also offering monoclonal antibody infusions for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are 12 years or older and greater than 88 pounds. A doctor’s order and appointment are both required.
Monoclonal antibodies mimic the body’s own antibodies as they help the immune system quickly destroy the COVID-19 virus before it harms an individual or causes hospitalization. These infusions are administered via IV and take approximately 60 minutes to complete followed by 30 minutes of observation.
“We have seen great success so far in the patients that have had the infusion, with most feeling significantly better a day or two afterwards,” said Hospital Authority Chairman Maureen A. Yearta, Ed.D. “Offering these infusions has allowed us to be proactive with treatment of COVID-19 and has helped with the management of symptoms that might otherwise lead to additional care.”
Patients can get the infusion once they know they are COVID positive and decrease their chances that they may need additional medical treatment past the infusion. To be eligible for the monoclonal antibody infusion, individuals must have tested positive for COVID-19, be within the ten-day window of when their symptoms began, and be 12 years or older and more than 88 pounds.
Colquitt Regional currently offers these infusions daily from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the hospital’s Same Day Surgery center. Individuals who are interested in receiving an infusion should contact their primary care doctor or call the Colquitt Regional COVID-19 Hotline at 229-891-9380.
Caption: Colquitt Regional recently began offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines and antibody infusions for approved groups. Pictured is Millard Hurst receiving his third dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Claudia Azpeitia, MA.