NBC10 Responds

Second Dose Delays: How Long Can You Wait for Your Second COVID-19 Vaccine?

What happens if you exceed the recommended wait time?

NBC Universal, Inc.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s no shortage of anxiety and confusion. For Beth Scolis, her concerns ramped up when she couldn’t get an appointment for her second dose.

Scolis and her husband got their first doses of the Moderna vaccine from 15toKnow in King of Prussia on January 20.

“It was smooth sailing. It was a well-oiled machine. You didn't even have to get out of your car,” said Beth of her initial experience.

But scheduling the second dose hasn’t been so easy.

Her 42-day window for receiving the second shot, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is quickly approaching.

Scolis told NBC10 Responds, "We're kind of feeling a little pressure because 15toKnow is stating that they don't have the doses."

The Challenge to Get the Vaccines

NBC10 Responds spoke with Mike Dershowitz, the CEO of 15toKnow.

“The challenge was that, you know, we're dealing with a market that has a short supply of product and there's a lot of demand. So every once in a while, a supply disruption is going to happen,” said Dershowitz.

He explained the company is working to get everyone their second dose as quickly as possible. 15toKnow said it’s counting on the state Department of Health to supply them with the vaccines.

Dershowitz said 15toKnow is contacting patients within 48 hours of when they can get shot number two.

“It's going to be one of those situations where, hey, stay by your e-mail, stay by your text message. Because we send both emails and text. And when you get that appointment, you know, you've got to clear your calendar and come,” he said.

How Long Can You Wait?

NBC10 Responds asked Main Line Health’s interim Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jon Stallkamp, about the second dose.

He said your vaccine will still be effective even if you have to wait beyond the CDC’s recommended 42-day window.

If you're at 45, I don't think there's really going to be much of a difference," Stallkamp said. “The longer you wait, there may be some additional issues going forward, but if you get it within that next week, you should be totally fine.”

He believes we should see more vaccines become available in the next couple of weeks.

The CDC says if you go beyond the 42-day window there is no need to restart the vaccine series.

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