Some at-risk Americans eligible for fourth COVID shot this week

"After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot," the CDC stated.
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Woman over the age of 80 receives her COVID-19 vaccine in an at home vaccination in Italy.
Elderly woman receives COVID-19 vaccine in Italy April 20, 2021.
(Francesco Militello Mirto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Some immunocompromised Americans will soon be eligible for a fourth COVID-19 shot six months after their booster dose, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot," the CDC stated in guidance updated last week. 

Americans with weakened immune systems may be able to receive the fourth dose as early as this week, The New York Times reported Monday.

The CDC recommends everyone ages 12 and up receive a booster dose five months after their initial mRNA series. The organization calls the fourth dose an "additional primary shot," and says it should be administered to immunocompromised people ages 5 and older at least 28 days after completing their Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series.

While Israel and Chile have started administering fourth boosters to at-risk residents, some Americans are already getting unauthorized fourth or fifth COVID boosters, The Times reported last week. 

The World Health Organization warned against blanket boosters last month. "No country can boost its way out of the pandemic," said the organization's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.