FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine
Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.
The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
“Our scientific and& medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S.”
Read the full announcement at www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine
Third Vaccine Dose Recommended for Immunocompromised
The CDC recommends people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) following their initial two-dose vaccination series. This third dose should be the same vaccine as the first two doses and can be received a minimum of four weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Included in CDC’s recommendation are people with a range of conditions, such as recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and others. A full list of conditions can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html. Immunocompromised individuals will not be required to provide proof of their condition when seeking their third vaccine dose.
Any COVID-19 vaccine provider can administer the third dose to immunocompromised people seeking this additional vaccination. For details on local vaccination opportunities, visit www.dubuquecounty.org/sleevesup or call 563-690-MAKE(6253).
Fully vaccinated people with healthy immune systems do not need another dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Plans for a booster dose for the general public are expected to be announced soon and begin in late September. The general public will be eligible for this third dose eight months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. This plan is still subject to approval and local vaccine providers are still developing local plans for rollout of the booster dose for the general public.
COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine Guidance
As new cases continue to increase in Dubuque County, the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team is encouraging residents to follow these guidelines for COVID-19 testing and quarantine.
- Rapid COVID-19 testing by healthcare providers should be reserved for symptomatic patients only.
- Testing for documentation of being COVID negative for travel, school, work, or attending events should utilize regular (non-rapid) testing from pharmacies, TestIowa take-home kits, or healthcare providers. For information on local testing options, visit www.dubuquecountyiowa.gov/565/Local-COVID-19-Testing-Options
Quarantine is a necessary mitigation strategy while awaiting testing and testing results for unvaccinated, exposed, non-symptomatic individuals.
- Quarantine for 10 days after exposure or symptoms appear.
- You may shorten the quarantine if, after day 7, you receive a negative test result (the test must occur on day 5 or later after exposure or symptoms appear)
People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.