HHS recommends 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans

August 17, 2021

Today, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement on the Biden Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans 8 months after they received their second shot. According to HHS, the U.S. and could begin offering third shots as early as September 20, 2021. The new policy will depend on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of additional shots.

This announcement follows the FDA's announcement on August 12, 2021, that it was amending the emergency use authorizations to allow for  third doses for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices subsequently met on Friday, August 13, 2021, and outlined clinical recommendations regarding an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The California Department of Public Health and the Western States Scientific Review Panel also recommended Monday that individuals whose immune systems are compromised get an additional vaccine dose “to ensure extra protection from COVID-19.”

The American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Panel has also expedited approval of a new administration codes that are unique to a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The two vaccine administration codes are effective for immediate use.

Short, medium and long descriptors for all the new vaccine-specific CPT codes can be accessed on the AMA website, along with several other recent modifications to the CPT code set that have helped streamline the public health response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.


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