COVID-19 : How long to wait for the second dose of the vaccine

These are Fauci’s times for vaccination 0:40

. – Some vaccine providers have been forced to cancel appointments to vaccinate against COVID-19 due to winter weather that has devastated much of the US and caused delays in vaccine deliveries.

That may be concerning for people who were scheduled to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, who are supposed to get a second inoculation three to four weeks after the first.

But if you are one of those people, there is good news.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the second dose of the vaccine can be given up to 42 days, or six weeks, after the initial inoculation.

So if your appointment for a second dose was delayed or canceled due to winter weather, there should still be time for you to be fully vaccinated.

The two vaccines currently in the US market, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, require two doses to achieve approximately 95% efficacy, with the second doses having to be administered 21 and 28 days after the first , respectively.

The CDC website says the agency still recommends that the second dose be given “as close to the recommended interval as possible.”

‘However, if the recommended interval cannot be met and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable,’ says the website, ‘the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna covid-19 vaccines can be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose ”.

The CDC is clear that patients should not receive the second dose earlier than recommended, and there is still limited data on the effectiveness of vaccines if the second inoculation takes place beyond the six-week window.

At an event last month, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla underscored the importance of delivering the second dose of his company’s vaccine on time. But he doesn’t think that “applying it a week or two later is a very big problem.”

“You have to make sure you give the second doses when the studies recommend that the vaccine works, which is in three weeks,” Bourla said during an event hosted by Bloomberg Media. “In our study, we actually had 19 to 42 (days). Within this framework, I am fine. Beyond that, it’s serious.

States register delays in vaccine shipments

The freezing weather has paralyzed large swaths of the country and posed challenges for shipments of first- and second-dose vaccines.

Health officials in places like Dallas County, Texas, say they recognize the need for a second dose in a timely manner.

“We understand the urgency of administering second doses of the vaccine, but we must also strike a balance in terms of human safety,” the county said in a news release this week. “As soon as we can safely reopen, we will.”

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, officials said this week that about 2,000 people would not receive the second scheduled dose of the vaccine due to weather-related supply delays. A spokesman for the mayor’s office told CNN that the second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine scheduled to be administered Thursday had not arrived. All those affected have been notified, according to the spokesperson.

Some health officials have indicated that they would prioritize rescheduling appointments for the second dose in the future. A press release this week from the Alabama Department of Public Health says officials “would ensure the opportunity for people to receive their second dose within the next two weeks,” an effort that would include “extended clinic hours as permitted. the availability of personnel ».

In Nevada, the Southern Nevada Health District said in a statement Wednesday that it would have to reschedule appointments for people waiting for a second dose of the Moderna vaccine for a week (appointments for the second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine- BioNTech were moving forward as scheduled). Approximately 4,000 people were contacted by officials to reschedule their appointments. Additionally, the health district said it would only administer second doses next week.

Shipping companies like UPS and FedEx told CNN they were working to make sure the vaccines were delivered. FedEx said vaccine deliveries were receiving priority, but “prolonged severe weather continues to affect much of the FedEx network.”