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Excitement, high-demand for 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised

A COVID-19 vaccine
A COVID-19 vaccine(WVIR)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - From Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall to area health departments, immunocompromised people in Central Virginia have found tons of places to get that highly-awaited third COVID-19 shot.

It’s been over a week-and-a-half since immunocompromised people could get their third dose, so we checked in with UVA Health’s Dr. Costi Sifri to find out how the rollout is going.

“There’s significant interest,” Sifri said.

Across Charlottesville and the country, people are rolling up their sleeves for the third time for that extra boost of protection.

That’s because many of them, including kidney transplant recipient Trevor Achilles, didn’t get antibodies until the third shot.

“I feel euphoric,” Achilles said.

Achilles said that third shot was a dose of optimism, like when he got his kidney transplant.

“I remember waking up [from the transplant],” he said. “I felt amazing afterward. My body was working again. I felt alive and I felt hopeful for the future. I feel the same exact way now.”

Back inside UVA Medical Center, Sifri says the third shot is important for immunocompromised people to help them battle the virus.

“It’s perhaps not surprising, but of course very concerning those people who are immunocompromised who do have breakthrough infections, after two-dose vaccine are at risk for serious consequences of infection,” Sifri said.

For the immunocompetent, the third doses may not be too far away. Though that may be the case, Sifri reminds everyone that the vaccines are still doing their job.

“They are effective, even against the Delta variant, preventing those severe outcomes of COVID that we’re most concerned about. Breakthrough infections can occur but if it’s a mild cold, that’s probably okay,” he said.

Sifri reminds people that although those breakthrough cases may feel mild, they can still spread. That’s why masks are back in the conversation.

There are many ways for you to get vaccinated in our community. Here are a few of them:

Find COVID-19 vaccines on Vaccines.gov

UVA Health COVID vaccination clinic

Blue Ridge Health District vaccination scheduler

Call the BRHD COVID-19 Hotline 434-972-6261

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