RI to offer third dose of COVID vaccine to immunocompromised starting this weekend


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Certain immunocompromised Rhode Islanders will have the chance to receive a COVID-19 booster shot starting this weekend, according to the R.I. Department of Health.

Starting Saturday, those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised can receive a third dose of the vaccine at the Sockanosset Crossroads vaccination site and at hospital vaccination sites.

The Health Department expects third doses to be readily available at retail pharmacies in the coming days.

This comes soon after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

The amendment allows for an additional dose to be administered at least 28 days following the two-shot regimen of the same vaccine to those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Rhode Islanders considered to be moderately to severely immunocompromised are/have:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory)

Rhode Islanders can schedule an appointment to receive a booster shot at Sockanosset Crossroads through the state’s vaccine portal.

The Health Department said the state will be relying on the honor system when it comes to administering vaccines to the immunocompromised, adding that people will not be required to provide documentation of their health status.

There are currently 35,000 Rhode Islanders who are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised. The Health Department assures there’s ample vaccine supply to meet this new demand.

Immunocompromised Rhode Islanders who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not currently eligible for a booster shot.

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