VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on Walgreens change in Pfizer wait time, mask mandate

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:14 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.

I got doses of the Pfizer vaccine four weeks apart at Walgreens. Why didn’t Walgreens follow Pfizer’s recommended three-week wait? Is it still effective and am I fully vaccinated?

It’s a Centers for Disease Control recommendation that you get your second shot as close to the recommended intervals as possible.

For the Pfizer vaccine, it’s recommendation is three weeks. The CDC also says your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary.

Someone is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Walgreens adjusted the timing between doses of Pfizer’s vaccine because the drug store chain had been giving the second dose a week after federal guidelines suggested.

By the way, the U.S. government’s first look at the real-world use of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines found they were 80% effective two weeks or more after a first dose. The vaccines’ effectiveness increased to 90% after two doses.

Why are businesses in Lexington allowing customers to come in their stores without masks and not practicing social distancing? The health department says there’s nothing they can do.

While Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 executive orders have been challenged in court, they are still legal and in effect.

On Wednesday, a Franklin County judge sided with the governor despite state lawmakers’ passage of legislation to end them.

The governor has to extend the order for a mask mandate every 30 days. In explaining his decision to do so again at the end of March, Gov. Beshear cited scientific consensus on the importance of continued mask wearing until vaccines are widely available to everyone in May.

If you wish to report someone not following the guidelines or a business not enforcing the order, you should call Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline at (833) 597-2337.

Has any of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the Baltimore plant been distributed to the public? Where are the J&J vaccines being manufactured?

In March, the company reported a batch of its COVID-19 vaccine failed quality standards and can’t be used.

The 15 million doses were at Emergent BioSolutions, a little-known company vital to the vaccine supply chain. Johnson & Johnson wanted the plant to start producing its vaccine to speed up manufacturing. None of the contaminated doses left the plant.

J&J said it was putting more of its manufacturing and quality experts inside Emergent’s factory to supervise production of the COVID-19 vaccine, a move meant to enable delivery of an additional 24 million vaccine doses through April.

J&J has also been shipping finished vaccines from its factory in the Netherlands to the U.S.

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