Second COVID-19 Vaccine Timing Flexible, Experts Say

Second COVID-19 Vaccine

The rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been slow. The impact has resulted in late deliveries and lesser amounts of doses compared to the state-level requirement. Now, scheduling appointments have also become difficult. Thus, everyone who received the first vaccine might not get the second within 21 to 28 days. The good news is, experts say that a slight delay in the second covid-19 vaccine dosage is not worrisome.

Second COVID-19 vaccine dosage updates

A group of health departments in the US, including CDC, infectious disease experts, national pharmacy chains, and front-line doctors, agree to the flexible timing of the second coronavirus vaccine. However, they emphasize full vaccination for every individual and as soon as possible.

Moreover, the CDC states that the second dosage of the vaccine needs quick administration. However, if it is impossible to get the second dosage as recommended, a person will be alright to delay it by six weeks or 42 days from the first dose.

The group vice president administering pharmacy operations and services at Walgreens said that patients need to get doses within the immunization window. She is currently in charge of monitoring stores all across the nation. Her statement clarifies that the second dose does not need to be given earlier than the given time frame. Her team encourages people to book appointments for the Second COVID-19 vaccine as soon as done with the first one. Ideally, the vaccines should be close to each other. However, a little late will not cause harm.

The statement keeps both the potent vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech in mind. Both the vaccines are now available in the US, and people need two doses of either one vaccine. These doses come after specific intervals. If you take the Pfizer vaccine, you need to take the second one within 21 days, while Moderna after 28 days. However, your body’s immune response will not die after the interval.

When is the best time to take the second vaccine?

Dr Buddy Creech, the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program director at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, said that a human body is smart and doesn’t forget what it absorbs just once. He referred to the coronavirus vaccine while saying so.

Creech monitored clinical trials for the Moderna vaccine and said that the vaccines should work irrespective of the time frame. According to him, even if a vaccination is delayed by one month, it will not negatively impact. He asks the public not to panic if they do not receive the second covid-19 vaccine on time. Moreover, it is fine from the respect of the immune system.  When one person takes the second shot, it reminds their immune system of the first one.

Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, professor of health policy and management from City University, New York, said that the doses work like a defense mechanism. When the immune system absorbs it once, it prepares for the next one automatically. Thus, even if the second one comes late from the first one, it still has the same alert.

Dr. Diane Griffin from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is an expert in infectious diseases. He seconded the thought and said that a vaccine dose given later in time would have as much effectiveness as expected. A booster protects us additionally and keeps our immunity high. According to him, a person will still be protected and must take the second dose as soon as possible.

What is the ideal time for second vaccination?

Griffin stresses doses being taken at the right intervals. She believes that one dose protects a person from the virus to an extent, but the second dose is vital for full protection. Thus, the sooner you get the vaccine, the better.

Dr. Bruce Y. Lee agrees with what Dr. Diane Griffin states. He also adds that when one person has complete protection, they protect others too. Thus, it curtails the chances of viral spread overall.


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