Walgreens announced Friday that its pharmacies would offer additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to eligible patients, following a new recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In accordance with the CDC's guidance, Walgreens patients with compromised immune systems can receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a release said.
“Walgreens is committed to administering COVID-19 vaccines to our most vulnerable populations as quickly and safely as possible,” said Kevin Ban, Walgreens Chief Medical Officer. “As one of the first companies to begin providing these vaccines, we have an experienced team of pharmacists and technicians, as well as the infrastructure to support the increased demand for these vaccines.”
Walgreens has begun offering same-day appointments available on a walk-in basis at select stores, the company said. Patients will bring their vaccination card or record to the appointments to prove eligibility.
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Individuals eligible to receive the additional vaccine dose include people undergoing cancer treatment, stem cell or organ transplant recipients, people living HIV or those receiving immunosuppressive treatments, according to the release.
The extra shots were recommended for Pfizer recipients who are 12 or older and Moderna recipients who are 18 and older, CNBC reported. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said it would revisit the shots for younger Moderna recipients after the FDA clears the shots for kids.
Immunocompromised patients make up roughly 2.7% of the U.S. adult population and 44% of hospitalized breakthrough infections, where someone gets infected even after they've been fully vaccinated.