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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients eligible for additional dose at Texas Tech

KDBC El Paso logo KDBC El Paso 8/23/2021 Vania Castillo

The City of El Paso is only offering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who received Moderna or Pfizer, but Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso has a different plan.

TTUHSC said that it will offer an extra dose of the Pfizer vaccine to those who are immunocompromised and received the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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Caption: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients eligible for additional dose at Texas Tech{{ }}{p}{/p}

TTUHSC El Paso and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso will be holding a vaccination drive for certain immunocompromised individuals on August 29.

Vaccines will be given out on a first come first served basis to anyone who signs up.

Shots will be administered between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Medical Sciences Building II first floor located on 137 Rick Francis Street.

RECOMMENDED: El Paso offers third COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people

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The decision to offer an mRNA vaccine, which Pfizer and Moderna use, to someone who got the one dose Johnson & Johnson which uses a different technology, goes against the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation.

The CDC'S website stated the following on August 20, 2021:

The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation. Emerging data have demonstrated that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection following two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.

CBS4 asked Doctor Armando Meza, the associate dean for graduate medical education and chief of infectious diseases at TTUHSC, about the university's decision to administer an additional mRNA vaccine to those who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think what accelerated the process was Delta,” said Meza. “The science is going to be very conclusive that with either combination of vaccines they will carry this favorable response.”

Despite TTUHSC's decision to mix and match vaccines, infectious disease expert Dr. Ogachika Alozie said it shouldn’t be a problem.

Alozie said there is plenty of research in Europe that shows some surprising results.

“Just this week one of their groups looked at people who got the AstraZeneca which is similar to the Johnson & Johnson and they had remarkable increases in their immunity after they got an MRNA shot,” said Alozie.

The CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose.

RECOMMENDED: Immunocompromised El Pasoans to get third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

El Paso city leaders said they’re following the CDC’s guidance when it comes to a booster shot and are planning to make booster shots available to people during late September.

Those interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine at TTUHSC must complete a registration application by clicking here.

Parking for Sunday's event will be available in lots marked T3, P11 and P7. For more information, please call 915-215-4300.

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