Health official: Missing or not returning to same COVID-19 vaccination site will slow treatment process


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Those who missed the COVID-19 vaccine window for the second shot or can’t go back to the same location, might have a harder time scheduling their second appointment.

When the vaccine first rolled out, administrators warned against going out of town to get the first dose. They explained people would have to go back to that same location to get the second shot.

Dr. John Miller, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for UnityPoint Health Central Illinois, said it’s because doses given to local health departments from the state are already reserved.

Local departments are only getting the same vaccine allocation that was given for the first vaccine.

For those who can’t make it to the same clinic or missed their time frame, pharmacies could be their next best option.

“I think you can call pharmacies; they will probably have extra doses of vaccines because they get their shipments directly from the government, the CDC. If you are in that position and struggling to get the second dose, call your primary care physician,” Miller said.

Miller said the vaccine process will not be restarted if someone misses the time window. The recommended interval between doses is 21 days for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna.

However, the CDC recently expanded the time frame to get the second shot for either to 42 days and according to its website, providers are not supposed to save doses if a patient has not returned after the 42nd day.

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