Guidance on third dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for immunosuppressed

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for moderate to severe immunocompromised individuals.

A third dose is considered safe and can provide added protection from severe illness or death from COVID-19 in individuals who may have a weakened response to vaccination due to certain medical conditions or medications.  

Is Cleveland Clinic providing a third dose?

Individuals can now schedule appointments beginning Thursday, Aug. 19. Cleveland Clinic Ohio locations are currently offering the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for patients aged 12 and older. The Moderna vaccine is approved for ages 18 and older. 

How can my patient or I schedule?

Patients and caregivers who are eligible can schedule their third dose through MyChart or by calling 216.444.2538. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to schedule in MyChart.

Who is eligible for a third dose?

Currently, the CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. View the full guidance on CDC.gov. 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

We encourage individuals to talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Providers will be notified within Epic of patient eligibility with a new Health Mainteance Topic. View the MyPractice update

What if I got the Moderna vaccine for my first two doses?

CDC guidance states that if the same COVID mRNA vaccine product as the first two doses is not available, a different mRNA vaccine may be given as the third dose, provided the patient is age-eligible for that product. At this time, Cleveland Clinic has supply of Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This means that if a person received Moderna for their first two doses, and they choose to get the third dose at Cleveland Clinic, they are able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Alternatively, drug stores and pharmacies throughout Ohio have supply of Moderna.

What if I received the J&J vaccine?

At this time, there is no recommendation for an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.

If I’m not immunocompromised, do I need a third dose?

At this time, additional doses of COVID vaccines are not recommended for healthy individuals who are not immunocompromised.

Things to keep in mind

  • The third dose must be given at least 28 days after a patient’s second dose.  
  • Patients can find more information on locations to receive their vaccine and how to schedule at clevelandclinic.org/covidvaccine.
  • In addition to our Cleveland Clinic vaccination sites, more than 80 Cleveland Clinic locations can provide vaccinations to patients with existing adult or pediatric primary care appointments.    

Don’t forget!

We are still providing initial vaccines for those who are unvaccinated and encourage everyone who is eligible to receive them.