By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday that it is encouraging certain cancer patients to get a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center said that it’s recommendation follows that of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which encouraged cancer patients to receive a third dose of a messenger RNA vaccine. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both messenger RNA vaccines.

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The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a adenovirus vaccine, and if patients received that initially, another dose is not recommended at this time, the Mayo Clinic said.

According to the Rochester-based medical center, cancer patients should seek a third dose if they are:

— Patients with new or recurring solid tumors receiving treatment within one year of their initial vaccine dose, regardless of their type of cancer therapy.
— Patients with active blood cancers, regardless of whether they receive cancer therapy.
— Patients who received a stem cell transplant or engineered cellular therapy, such as chimeric antigen receptor-T cell therapy, especially within the past two years.
— Patients who received allogeneic stem cell transplants and are on immunosuppressive therapy or transplant patients with a history of graft-versus-host disease, regardless of transplant timing.
— Patients with an additional immunosuppressive condition, such as HIV or patients being treated with immunosuppressive agents unrelated to their cancer therapy.

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Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved giving a third vaccine dose to immunocompromised Americans so as to improve their protection against the virus.

The groups that are currently eligible for a third shot are those with severely to moderately compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant patients, and those who are taking immune suppression medications.

Federal health officials are also recommending that vaccinated Americans get a booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose. The Biden administration says it’s preparing to begin offering booster shots in late September to Americans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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Booster shots offer the same dosage as a third shot, but the purpose is slightly different: Booster shots are to boost efficacy as time goes on for people who responded well the vaccine; a third dose is for immunocompromised individuals who might not have responded optimally to the first two doses.