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> COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Booster Shot Information

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

For media inquiries:
Dominick Recckio,

COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Booster Shot Information

(Ithaca, N.Y., August 18, 2021) -- The Tompkins County Health Department is sharing information on the recent New York State, federal CDC, and FDA recommendation that immunocompromised individuals receive an additional (third, or commonly referred to as a “booster”) dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. At this time TCHD is echoing the recommendation that any immunocompromised individual seeking a booster vaccine dose contact their doctor or primary care provider regarding their condition and access to a third dose.

Additionally, TCHD is aware of the announcement made today by federal public health officials regarding additional (booster) doses for the wider vaccinated public, and TCHD is working with community partners to make additional doses available if they are authorized and recommended.  

Currently, the CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People who are included in the above list should talk to their doctor or primary care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. This recommendation is only for those who received the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

TCHD is encouraging all local primary care and specialty care physicians to communicate with immunocompromised patients and facilitate vaccination doses as appropriate.

People who do not meet the immunocompromised criteria above are not currently eligible for an additional dose. TCHD will continue to communicate updates on COVID-19 vaccines with residents as more information becomes available.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “The current recommendation for a third COVID-19 vaccine shot is only for a small number of people in our community, those who are severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or specialized medication. If you are in the categories listed above, please consult with your primary care physician or specialist.” Kruppa continued, “As more information about eligibility for a third dose becomes available, we will communicate it widely to the public.”

If you would like assistance in finding a primary care provider in the area, you may call the Cayuga Health Physician Referral Service at (607) 274-4615.

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.