Answering your COVID questions: ‘When can I expect to get my second vaccine dose?'

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 19:28:52-05

According to the CDC, more than 1.3 million Ohioans have already received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with about 496,000 who have received both doses. Those still waiting for their second shot may wonder when it could be available -- and why their provider might not have it yet.

WCPO viewer Steven McDaniel, who works in medicine, asks on Facebook: “I've gotten my first Moderna shot. Now they're having trouble getting vaccine for the second. Supposed to get it tomorrow but they don't have any. What's up with the Hamilton County Board of Health not making sure there's enough for a second injection?”

Dr. Steve Feagins, medical director of Hamilton County Public Health and chief clinical officer at Mercy Health, said the delay in availability of shots is intentional.

“It could very well be, depending on where doses are coming from, that there could be a delay in that second dose -- and that's by design,” he said. “We want as many people vaccinated as possible, and as we've talked about before, those 21 to 28 days, that's a minimum, not a maximum -- a minimum.”

Feagins said if you've scheduled an appointment for the second dose and the provider doesn't yet have doses, they could have them as soon as the next day.

“That's how it's supposed to be, because by holding back a bunch of doses and not giving them -- that doesn't make sense. We want to give them when they come in," he said.

How long might a person have to wait for the second dose? Feagins said it’s typically just a few days.

“We get vaccine by the week, and we budget by that. They could be asked to go to a different place. And one of the things we talked about, because we have so many vaccination sites we divide it out -- it could very well be a site got 100, and a site a block away also has 100 doses and has several left," he explained.

Feagins said focusing centrality in where vaccines are administered could make distribution less scattered.

And again, is there a difference between the first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses? Feagins said both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are exactly the same.

This month, WCPO 9 is taking your questions about COVID-19 vaccines and posing them to local health care experts. Email or message @KristynHartmanWCPO on Facebook with your name, neighborhood and question, and you could see an expert answer it on air.