Hundreds of immunocompromised Marin County residents get third shot of COVID vaccine

Marin County held a mass vaccination clinic Saturday to give third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to immunocompromised people in the area. 

The county, in partnership with Safeway, was prepared to vaccinated 1,300 people throughout the day. But the event wasn’t open to everyone. The FDA has only authorized a third shot for people who weren’t able to build a sufficient antibody response after the first two shots. 

"This is a much narrower version of immunocompromised than we’re used to. It’s really people that are fighting a severe infection or are on medication that’s suppressed their immune system. So we’re talking about individuals with an advanced or undiagnosed HIV infection, people who have recently undergone a stem cell transplant or an organ transplant," said Laine Hendricks, public information officer for the County of Marin. 

Hendricks wants people to understand that this is different than the booster shots people might need about a year after their second dose when the efficacy of the vaccine starts to wane. 

"The more vulnerable individuals need that antibody boost now, where healthy individuals likely got their full immune response that they needed and now after close to a year’s time need an extra boost," said Hendricks. 

The Centers for Disease Control said about 2.7% of the country is immunocompromised and now eligible for a third shot. Marin County estimates there are about 10,000 immunocompromised people in the county. 

"The fact that this booster shot was approved, I was the first to sign up for it," said Stan Lappen.

Lappen said both he and his wife are immunocompromised and they've been worried about the Delta variant. 

"It’s caused us to have pause, like should we have people in the house again, should we not," said Lappen. "There are a lot of things that are creating a lot of anxiety for everyone I think. I just hope everyone will have a sensible approach and realize they have to be vaccinated, they have to be masked."

If you are eligible for a third shot, you can also get one by talking to your medical provider. In Marin County, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Safeway are also all providing third doses.