COVID-19 Update: TB Tests and COVID-19 Vaccines 

Situation Report | September 20, 2021     

TB Tests and COVID-19 Vaccines 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its policy about administering the tuberculosis (TB) test and the COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC stated the following: 

The COVID-19 vaccination should not be delayed because of testing for the TB  infection. Testing for TB infection with one of the immune-based methods, either the tuberculin skin test (TST) or an interferon release assay (IGRA), can be done before, after, or during the same encounter as COVID-19 vaccination. 

TSTs and IGRAs were previously recommended to be administered > 4 weeks after completion of COVID-19 vaccination to minimize potential theoretical interference between vaccination and TB testing. This was out of an abundance of caution during a period when these vaccines were new. However, given logistical challenges faced in delaying TB infection testing, the recommendation has been updated so that these tests may now be administered without regard to timing of COVID-19 vaccination. 

More information is available on the CDC website

COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People 

The CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This additional dose is intended to improve the response of people who are immunocompromised to their initial vaccine series. 

The CDC states that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. 

Although CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, HHS has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.

More information is available on the CDC website.