Hold on! Howard Brown Health says most don't need COVID-19 booster yet

Thu. August 19, 2021 11:10 AM by Gerald Farinas

most people living with hiv are not immunocompromised

photo credit // cdc

Most people living with HIV are not considered immunocompromised, according to the CDC

Howard Brown Health, the leading health care provider for the metropolitan LGBTQ community, says that most people who already received their full doses of Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and overseas AstraZeneca shots don't yet need a COVID-19 booster shot. They recommend speaking to their personal health providers and wait for the formal unrolling of booster shots in September.

Illinois Department of Public Health told GoPride.com that they are suggesting to providers that while health care centers hold off on issuing booster shots, they should still be prepared to act when the FDA officially recommends it.

"Howard Brown is not scheduling third dose/booster appointments for individuals with a responsive immune system," Howard Brown Health said. "Howard Brown is required to follow guidance from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), which have not yet approved booster shots."

President Joe Biden and his health care advisory team unveiled a plan for wider availability of a third COVID-19 dose for those who are immunocompromised. It was followed by a recommendation that people who received Pfizer and Moderna vaccines be inoculated with a third dose eight months after their initial doses.

"If you are fully vaccinated and not immunocompromised, you still have a high degree of protection from severe COVID-19 symptoms," Howard Brown Health said.

Who is immunocompromised?

Most people living with HIV are not considered immunocompromised, according to the CDC.

"If you are living with HIV, adhering to your treatment plan, and have undetectable viral loads with CD4 counts greater than 200, you are not considered immunocompromised for purposes of a vaccine booster shot," Howard Brown explained.

People with advanced or untreated HIV are immunocompromised and should get a booster.

Individuals may also be considered immunocompromised if they have active or recent treatment for a solid tumor and hematologic malignancies; received solid-organ or recent hematopoietic stem cell transplants; have severe primary immunodeficiency; have been diagnosed with asplenia, chronic renal disease, or other chronic condition associated with varying degrees of immune deficiency.

Howard Brown Health says any individuals concerned about living with HIV and COVID-19 mitigation should call their own health care provider, or go to one of their area clinics.