COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. The Pfizer second dose should e 21 days after the first. The Moderna vaccine needs a second dose 28 days after the first.
After one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, people are 60-80% protected from COVID-19. After the second dose, the rate of protection shoots up to 90%. Protection from serious cases is even higher.
When you go for your first dose, you’ll be given an appointment for your second dose. You will not be fully vaccinated until two weeks after you receive your second dose.
Even if you experience side effects from your first dose, you should go ahead and keep your appointment for the second dose, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
What if you miss the second dose?
Life brings surprises. According to the CDC, some 5 million people got their first dose but failed to show for their second dose. That’s 8% of the people who received the first dose.
One reason? Some people had flu-like side effects with their first dose and feared having them again. However, the side effects are much less unpleasant and dangerous than COVID-19. Talk with your doctor if you are worried, but don’t let side effects keep you from getting fully protected.
Others reported that they felt they were protected enough with one dose. There is a big difference between 60% protection (what you might get with one dose) and 90% protection (what you can expect with two). Make the effort and get that second dose.
Some of the people making do with just one shot had their second dose appointment cancelled because of a lack of vaccine or other problems. If this is your situation, please contact MANA. We can help you get fully vaccinated.
If you missed your appointment for any reason, you can still get your second shot within six weeks of the first vaccination. Don’t delay — make that second appointment today.