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What happens if your second dose of COVID vaccine is delayed?

Updated February 17, 2021 - 4:56 am

Many Nevadans who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose are close to the recommended time for their second shot and questions are being raised about the impact of delays.

Recommended intervals show Pfizer at 21-days and Moderna at 28-days. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended date as possible. But total precision isn’t required.

The second dose can come a a few days earlier or even up to six weeks after the first dose.

“Second doses administered within a grace period of four days earlier than the recommended date for the second dose are still considered valid,” the CDC says on its website.

“If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines may be administered up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose.”

In Southern Nevada, several clinics arranged an appointment when a person received their first dose, others did not.

When it comes to a second dose of the vaccine, important factors to follow are:

— The Southern Nevada Health District said second dose allocations are received based on the number of first doses administered, and appointments will only be available for people who received their vaccinations from a health district clinic.

— People with questions or needing assistance making appointments can call the health district at 702-759-1900. The line is staffed during business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The state has launched a new vaccination call center to answer questions and assist those who may need help making an appointment. The call center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-800-401-0946.

— Anyone who received their first dose from a non-health district clinic should contact their original provider to receive their second dose.

— It is recommended that the second dose of vaccine be administered as close to the 21- and 28-day intervals as possible.

— The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not interchangeable. If you received a first dose from Moderna, the second dose should be Moderna, according to the CDC.

Southern Nevada Health District officials here have frequently assured that no one will have to wait beyond the recommended window. Nevadans who received their first dose will want to contact the provider who administered the first inoculation.

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Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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