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VERIFY: What should you do if you have to delay your second COVID-19 vaccine?

In general, if you can’t get the second dose within the recommended 21 or 28-day timeline, should you start the process over again, meaning two more shots?

WASHINGTON —

THE QUESTION:

If you can’t get the second dose within the recommended 21 or 28-day timeline, should you start the process over again, meaning TWO more shots?

THE ANSWER:

Two vaccine experts to the Verify team to get the second dose as soon as you can. The CDC says the second dose can be administered for up to 6 weeks, or 42 days after the first dose.

OUR SOURCES:

WHY WE ARE VERIFYING:

A viewer reached out to the VERIFY team with a question about his elderly mom. She missed the window for her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because of a surgery.

Being a good son, he asked us to Verify: if you can’t get the second dose within the recommended 21 or 28 day timeline, should you start the process over again, meaning two more shots?

We brought that question directly to two vaccine experts, Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University, and Dr. William Moss at Johns Hopkins. We also looked at guidance from the CDC.

RELATED: VERIFY: There is still no federal public health recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots

WHAT WE FOUND:

Both our experts told us to get the second dose when we can.

"If you delay your second dose of the two dose vaccines, you do not have to start over, just get that second dose whenever you can get an appointment. But please don't forget the second dose," Schaffner said.

He continued: "We have a little adage among we who are interested in vaccines, 'a dose delayed is often a dose never received.' So if you're a little bit late, that's okay, but please be sure and complete your series, your protection goes way up."

Dr. Moss agreed.

"Delaying, you know, even out three months, that would still be counted as a second dose," Moss said.

As for the CDC, they say that if you can’t get the dose in the recommended window, the second dose can be administered up to 6 weeks or 42 days after the first dose.

So we can Verify, no, if you have to delay the second dose don’t restart the process, just get the second dose as soon as you can.

RELATED: VERIFY: No, COVID vaccines don't last only six months