PHILADELPHIA, August 17, 2021 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) supports the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the use of an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose among immunocompromised persons. ACP also supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) call for a time-limited moratorium on additional COVID-19 vaccine doses for non-immunocompromised persons to help ensure an equitable global vaccine distribution for the primary series of vaccinations, particularly in countries lagging behind.
ACIP voted unanimously Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, to recommend an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (≥ 12 years) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (≥18 years) following a primary series among immunocompromised people under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization. The recommendation for an additional dose of mRNA vaccine does not currently apply to individuals who received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Aug. 12 amended the Emergency Use Authorizations for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
The WHO maintains that introducing additional COVID-19 vaccine doses should be firmly evidence-driven and targeted to the population groups in greatest need and that the focus for the time being remains on increasing global vaccination coverage with the primary series (either one or two doses for current EUA vaccines).
ACP has previously recognized the ethical responsibility to assist others in minimizing mortality and morbidity from COVID-19 and voiced its support for the immediate ramping up of supply for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines equitably among and within countries in need.
ACP stated that some countries have good vaccine supply and good control of the pandemic; some, poor vaccine supply but good control of the pandemic (or they have not been greatly affected); and others have poor vaccine supply and are in the grips of the pandemic with high rates of death and severe illness. It is the third group for which the need is greatest and where our immediate attention and action should be focused.
“ACP supports the approval of the use of an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose for those who are immunocompromised and are in immediate need,” said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, President, ACP. “We also recognize the ethical responsibility to assist others in minimizing mortality and morbidity from COVID-19 and support the immediate ramping up of supply for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines equitably among and within countries in need.”
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514, AHachadorian@acponline.org