Sixty-seven-year-old Barbara Creed got a lung transplant in May 2020 – when no visitors were allowed inside. It was the longest time she had been apart from her husband, Bob, during their entire 47-year marriage.
But because she's immunocompromised, her immune system response wasn't as strong after her first two shots. So, she's at greater risk of getting infected with COVID.
"Inside our house, I'm not so worried. We keep it pretty clean, it's once you leave the house that you have to be concerned," she said.
On Friday, the CDC recommended a third MRNA dose for people like her. Barbara plans to get shot number three on Monday.
Patients 12 and older who have had organ transplants, are on steroids, had stem cells transplants in the past two years, are advanced or untreated HIV patients or are undergoing treatments for cancer and blood disorders are eligible for a third dose.
The CDC says this third dose is not for people with chronic illness like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.
Dr. Sajal Tanna is a transplant infectious diseases physician. She said, "These patients aren't making a normal response with just the one or two doses that maybe you or I got. It's not that their immunity is waning over time. They just actually never got to that level that a normal person might have."
But for those who are immunocompromised she said: "I am encouraging them to go get their third dose. To get the same brand is what they got for the first and second dose. And then some considerations that I take into account for timing is it should be at least twenty-eight days after their second dose."
Barbara said, "I'd love to just go wherever I want to when I feel like it. It's very disheartening to think that there are people aren't taking the vaccine and that it may be a really long time before we have normal."
Right now the CDC has no data for Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients or those looking to mix J&J with another vaccine. This is only based on data for MRNA vaccines after 2 doses.