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VACCINE TEAM | Putting off the second shot; Help getting to vaccination sites

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine.

What is the longest time you can wait until you get the second shot?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to ensure maximum effectiveness. So, delaying or skipping the second dose increases your odds of contracting COVID-19.

The CDC says you should get your second shot as close to the recommended intervals as possible. For the Pfizer vaccine, it’s three weeks. It’s four weeks for the Moderna vaccine. Your second doses of the two vaccines may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary.

The first shot allows your body to start building protection against the virus. The second shot gives your immune system a boost, increasing the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Because the vaccines are new, it’s not known exactly how long they offer protection from COVID-19. New information released this week found the Pfizer vaccine was still highly effective six months after the second dose.

You can explore this section of the Centers for Disease Control’s website to learn more about the vaccines.

I’m a retired senior citizen who lives in Midway. I want to get the vaccine, but I don’t have transportation to outside areas. Are they ever going to have a pharmacy or doctor’s office in Midway administering the vaccine so I can walk to it?

While it doesn’t appear there’s a vaccination site in Midway right now, that could change.

To search and find various vaccination sites, try the state’s vaccine map or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s search tool vaccinefinder.org which also tells you which of the three approved vaccines each site has in stock.

Through a partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and independent transportation network ITNBluegrass, free rides to vaccinations are available for low-income seniors. Call 859-252-8665 for more information.

My grandfather can’t leave the house to get one but there are people coming in and out of his house. Will there ever be a time when those who are home bound will be able to get a vaccination?

It’s still a challenge that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is still working to resolve, but the new single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine might speed things along.

Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require careful handling and should not be transported once the vials are pierced. Each vial contains multiple vaccine doses, so that instability makes single doses in individual households a problem.

The Johnson & Johnson is an adenovirus-based vaccine and is less delicate than the other approved vaccine, making it more mobile. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has fewer storage and transportation requirements, which the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services says could make it a good option in the future for those like your grandfather.

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