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Posted on: February 27, 2021

Media Release COVID-19 - February 27, 2021

For Immediate Release

02/27/2021    

COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800
Website: www.rowancountync.gov/COVID-19
Email: covid-19@rowancountync.gov

Vaccine Information

Website: www.rowancountync.gov/COVIDvaccine
Onsite at vaccine clinics: Text rocopod to 888777 or tune into 88.7 FM for updates

Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information: https://bit.ly/rowan-covid19-hub

The Importance of Keeping Your 2nd COVID Vaccination Appointment

As Rowan County Public Health and our numerous partners continue to work diligently to get our community vaccinated against COVID-19, we cannot emphasize to you enough about the importance of keeping your 2nd COVID Vaccination appointment. By doing so, it helps our clinics run more smoothly and helps reduce your risk of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19.

Please know that we definitely understand that schedules change and illnesses do occur. Unfortunately if you do not show up for your second appointment, there are some issues that can occur for us at our clinics and may occur for the individual themselves; especially if one does not receive their full-series of vaccine.

Below are some questions and answers that explain what can happen if people do not show up for their appointments, why it is important to receive both doses of the COVID vaccine, and what can happen if one does not receive their second vaccination at all:    

What happens in your clinics when a person does not show up for their 2nd Vaccination?

In order to make sure that we do not waste any vaccine, we will not open up a new vial unless we have enough arms to put the vaccination in. For the Moderna shot, that means that we have to have 10 people available; whereas for the Pfizer vaccine, we need access to 6 people. If you do not show up for your second dose, this could very well mean that we will not have enough people on site to open up a new vial. If this occurs, we sometimes have to ask the people that are already in line for their vaccine to come back for another day in order to not waste any vaccine.

Also when administering the vaccine, we have to be aware of its shelf life. For both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine, an open vial has to be used within 6 hours. If it is not used by then, any vaccine left in a vial must then be thrown away.

Why do you need two shots?

Vaccines are designed to create immunological memory, which gives our immune system the ability to recognize and fend off invading foes, even if we have not encountered them before. Two-shot vaccinations aim for a maximum benefit: the first dose primes the immunological memory, and the second dose solidifies it. Research shows that one dose of the Pfizer vaccine can reduce the average person’s risk of getting a symptomatic infection by about 50 percent; whereas one dose of the Moderna shot can do so by about 80 percent. Two doses of either vaccine are known to lowering your risk of contracting COVID-19 by about 95 percent. 

Am I protected from COVID-19 immediately after getting the second shot of the vaccine?

No. It takes a few weeks after receiving a vaccination for one’s body to build up COVID-19 immunity. 

One should start to develop some immunity 12 to 14 days after the first vaccine, but they won’t reach the 90% to 95.6% protection range against the virus until a week or more after their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

*Please note, however, it is unknown at this time how long any immunity from just a single dose would last. 

If people are only partially immunized with one dose, could that fuel more dangerous coronavirus variants?

Not getting fully vaccinated could turn your body into a breeding ground for antibody-resistant viruses, just like not finishing an entire course of antibiotics could help fuel an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The pace of a virus is not only determined by the weakness or strength of the immune system, it is also affected by the sheer number of viruses circulating in the population. Without widespread immunizations, the number of variants might continue to grow.

Is it okay to get the second COVID-19 shot later than scheduled? What happens if the 2nd dose clinic is scheduled before the date on my vaccination card?

Depending on which vaccine one receives, you will be scheduled for your second dose about 21 or 28 days after the first. Do not panic, however, if you can’t receive your second dose on that exact date. The CDC has stated that the second dose for both  Pfizer and Moderna  can be administered up to 42 days after the first vaccine. It is also important to know that the CDC does allow a grace period of up to 4 days for your second dose and considers this two-shot series valid.

In other words, please don’t worry if a second dose clinic is held a few days earlier than what is scheduled on your vaccine card. Also, if you can’t make it to a clinic when your second vaccine is scheduled, for whatever reason, try rescheduling it as close to the day that you were suppose to come back.

What if I am scared about getting sick from the second dose and that’s why I haven’t come?

Side effects are a totally normal reaction with this vaccine. It has been noted that more people may experience more side effects with their second dose; however, these side effects  usually subside within 2 days. 

The only time you should not get your second shot is if your doctor has told you not to do so. This may include individuals who may have had severe allergic reactions to their first dose, however, this has been found to be very rare.

We ask that everyone do their part by planning to get vaccinated when their group becomes eligible. In the meantime, whether you are partially or fully vaccinated or just waiting patiently for your turn, please remember to continue  to practice the 3W’s. Only with everyone’s help, can our community become healthier and reach some degree of normalcy in the near future. 

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Contact:
Amy Smith
704-216-8859
amy.smith@rowancountync.gov

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