How Does The Vaccine Work
Some infectious diseases are unknown to your body and your body doesnt know how to protect you from them. A vaccination is an effective and safe way to teach your bodys immune system how to fight off certain diseases. After having a vaccine, your body creates antibodies to protect you from that disease.
If you have the COVID-19 vaccine and are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 in the future, your immune system will be respond faster and better against the virus, and protect you against the severity of the disease.
What Happens If I Miss My Second Dose Of Covid
Two of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, provide strong protection against COVID-19, but gaining the full protective benefit of either vaccine requires getting two shots and the timing between these doses is important.
The recommended interval between the first and second dose is:
- Three weeks apart for Pfizer-BioNTech
- Four weeks apart for Moderna
And while it’s best to get your second dose on time…stuff happens.
Maybe you got COVID-19 shortly after your first dose and need to recover before getting your second one. Maybe you even received monoclonal antibody therapy or convalescent plasma while ill and need to wait 90 days before your second dose. Or maybe a personal crisis or natural disaster prevented you from making it to your appointment for your second dose.
So, what happens if your second COVID-19 vaccine dose is delayed due to something unavoidable?
You Might Want To Wait To Get A Booster Shot
There are no simple rules for timing on a third jabbut maybe dont rush it.
After a long and tense meeting today, an FDA committee unanimously recommended that the agency authorize third shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for Americans who are over 65 or at high risk of severe COVID. The vote came after the panel voted overwhelmingly against the original question up for its consideration: authorizing boosters for everyone over 16. If the FDA follows the committees recommendation , a CDC committee will help refine those guidelines next week, clarifying which groups qualify as high risk.
Even as we await these final decisions, the nations summer wave of COVID infections seems like its beginning to pass. Cases and hospitalizations are trending slightly downward. Now that we have more clarity about whether Americans need booster shotsand given that so many people are already getting boosters, eligibility be damnedmore questions loom: When, exactly, should those people get those shots? Is it better to load up on extra antibodies as soon as possible, or should people wait until COVID rates start to rise again?
This article previously misstated that the CDC recommends that immunocompromised Americans get a booster shot at least 28 days after a first Johnson & Johnson dose. In fact, the CDC does not currently recommend any booster shots for people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson.
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If I Am Eligible Do I Need To Make An Appointment Or Can I Just Turn Up At A Queensland Health Vaccination Location
Registering your interest for a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to secure an appointment at a Queensland Health vaccination location.
Walk-ins are welcome, however people with a booking will be given priority. To see which vaccination locations offer walk-ins visit the Queensland Health vaccination locations page.
What Are The Risks Of Waiting
We must remember the level of protection isnt the only consideration. The time it takes to get there is also important. Delaying the second dose increases the time it takes for you to achieve a high level of immunity, and therefore increases your susceptibility to infection, and risk of COVID.
One dose does provide some protection from severe COVID, but not enough, which means you can still become infected and transmit the virus to others. Preliminary data suggests one Pfizer dose provides only 33% protection against the Delta variant, while two doses confers 88% protection.
However, this risk must be weighed against the risk of contracting COVID in Australia currently. Community outbreaks are relatively contained, so the risk in between doses is not as high as it is during periods of rampant transmission.
In saying that, as weve seen from Victorias recent lockdown and new cases in Sydney this week, COVID transmission is still smouldering in Australia and we must not let our guard down yet. In this context its important everyone who can get vaccinated does, and as soon as possible.
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I Received Monoclonal Antibodies Or Convalescent Plasma As Part Of My Covid
Currently, there is no information on how well the COVID-19 vaccines work in people who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. Evidence suggests it is rare for people to get infected again in the 90 days after they first got ill. Because of that, people who have had one of these treatments should wait for at least 90 days after the treatment before getting vaccinated.
If you received the first dose of vaccine and then received monoclonal antibodies, you should wait 90 days before receiving your second dose of vaccine. However, if you received the first or second doses of vaccine before the full 90 days passed, no repeat doses of vaccine are necessary.
Should I Wait To Get Other Vaccines If Im Getting A Covid Shot
According to the CDC, you dont need to worry about the timing with a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccines, either. That includes live attenuated vaccines like the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Theres no reason not to get them simultaneously if you need to get them.
But as the CDC notes, It is unknown whether reactogenicity of COVID-19 vaccine is increased with co-administration, including with other vaccines known to be more reactogenic, such as adjuvanted vaccines or live vaccines.
And regardless of whether or not you are eligible for a COVID booster or third COVID shot, you should consider getting a flu shot sooner rather than later. While we never know exactly how bad flu season will be, there are some indicators such as early spikes in the respiratory syncytial virus in a few states that it will be rougher this year, says Dr. Watanabe.
This may be a bad year for flu as well, agrees Dr. Carlos Malvestutto, MD, MPH, an infectious disease physician with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who also urges people to get a flu vaccine as soon as they can. Like it or not, things are reopening and mask-wearing has gone down, and kids are back in school.
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Do I Have To Start The Vaccination Process Over If I Wait To Get The Second Covid
by: Anna King, Nexstar Media Wire
FILE In this Jan. 15, 2021, file photo, Dr. Yomaris Pena, Internal Medicine Physician with Somos Community Care at a COVID-19 extracts the last bit of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine out of a vial so as not to waste it at a vaccination site at the Corsi Houses in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. For those who received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, two doses are required to be considered fully vaccinated. But what if you missed that second dose? Do you have to start all over?
Theres a 28-day waiting period between the first dose of the Moderna vaccine and when you should get your second. For the Pfizer vaccine, theres a 21-day waiting period.
Whether you should soldier on or start over depends on how long its been since your first dose.
If you have forgotten to take your dose, and it has reached that six-month period, it is better at that time because we have so many people qualifying for that third dose to go ahead and start over that vaccination process, said Dr. Sherri Young, the health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia.
Young suggests if its been six months or longer since your first dose, you should treat your second dose as a first dose, then wait the three or four weeks necessary and get a third dose. That way you know youre fully protected and fully immunized, she said.
When You Are Fully Vaccinated
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second shot in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-shot vaccine, like Johnson & Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get the same product for your second shot.
You are not fully vaccinated if:
- it has been less than 2 weeks since your 1-dose shot
- it has been less than 2 weeks since your second shot of a 2-dose vaccine
- you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine
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What If I Experience Swelling Or Tenderness Away From Where I Was Injected
Some patients who receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines may experience some swelling or tenderness in their lymph nodes. It is also possible that this swelling will show up on imaging tests and could be mistaken for progression of certain cancers primarily breast, head and neck, melanoma, and lymphoma.
This vaccine side effect is more common after the second dose, usually occurs within two to four days after the vaccination, and can last for an average of 10 days.
On imaging tests, the lymph node enlargement may be detected for a longer period. For these reasons, we recommend:
- If you develop this symptom after youre vaccinated, you should speak to your doctor. Most of the time, they will recommend that you wait at least four weeks before getting further tests, to give time for the swelling to disappear.
- You should schedule your COVID-19 vaccination after any routine imaging. If youve already had the vaccine, then we recommend you wait six weeks for any routine breast screenings, including mammography and breast MRI.
- If youve had cancer, you should ask for your COVID-19 vaccine to be administered on the opposite side of your cancer diagnosis if possible.
- If you have any discomfort from the swelling, you can use a warm compress. Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken to ease the discomfort.
What Do I Need To Do If I Have A Bleeding Disorder
People with bleeding disorders and people who are receiving anticoagulant therapy need to tell their immunisation provider who can determine the appropriate injection method depending on your condition.
Should I take blood thinning medication before having the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine?
It is not recommended to take over-the-counter medicine before receiving a vaccination for the purpose of preventing potential side effects. You should continue to take prescribed medication unless advised by your medical practitioner.
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Should Everyone Who Is Eligible Get A Booster Shot
No. The C.D.C. has recommended booster shots only for people 65 or older, those in long-term care facilities, and people 50 or older who are at high risk.
The agency has not given advice to others who are eligible, saying only that at-risk adults 18 to 49 or those in frontline jobs should evaluate their individual risk, or discuss the issue with a health care provider, before getting a booster shot.Tara Parker-Pope
Who Cannot Get The Covid
You must not get a COVID-19 vaccine if you have had any of the following:
- Anaphylaxis to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
- Anaphylaxis after exposure to any ingredient of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis to anything else, including after receiving a vaccine, you can still get the vaccine, but you must tell the immunisation provider beforehand.
Read more about Vaccines and allergies.
If you have recently had any other vaccine you should wait at least 7 days to have the COVID-19 vaccine. Make sure you book your appointments with enough time between them.
It Takes Time For The Vaccination To Provide Immunity
Clinical studies indicate that the vaccination may provide some protection around 12 days after the first dose is given, but you must get both doses in order to achieve full protection. When both doses are administered, the vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection.
On May 13, the CDC stated that people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distancing in most situations. However, the CDC also noted that people with weakened immune conditions, such as cancer, should talk to their healthcare provider about the need for protective measures even after vaccination. Therefore, to protect our patients from COVID-19, MSK requires that all staff, patients, and visitors must continue to wear masks while at MSK. This requirement includes people who are fully vaccinated.
Whos Eligible For Boosters Right Now
Of course, this whole issueor whether or not its an issue at allis dependent on whether youre actually eligible for a COVID booster. And right now, thats still a relatively small group of people.
In August, the CDC announced that it was recommending that people who are moderate to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of one of the mRNA COVID vaccines. This includes people who have:
- Undergone an organ transplant and taken immunosuppressive medications
- Undergone a stem cell transplant in the last two years
- Been receiving treatment for cancer
- Have a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
- Have advanced or untreated HIV
- Receiving treatment immunosuppressive medication like high-dose corticosteroids
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved it, amending the emergency use authorization for both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine to include a booster for immunocompromised people.
But technically, its not a COVID booster shot for these people. Its a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine. This additional dose is intended to help them build up adequate protection against COVID, since many immunocompromised people dont mount a robust response with the first two doses. The CDC recommends that they get this third dose at least 28 days after completing the original two-dose series.
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It Takes Time To Build Immunity
It takes time for your body to build up an immune response after you get your vaccination.
You need 2 doses to get strong protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The first dose gives you partial protection as soon as 12 days afterwards. The second dose encourages your body to create stronger protection .
It takes 7 to 14 days after your second dose before you are fully protected.
How Were These Vaccines Developed So Quickly
In response to the impacts of COVID-19 felt right around the world, unprecedented funding and collaboration occurred between regulators, governments, vaccine developers and scientists.
For COVID-19 vaccines, no testing phase has been skipped. Instead, some of these phases have been combined, or run at the same time as each other. Having these overlapping time frames has helped develop COVID-19 vaccines quickly and help make them available earlier to save lives.
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Which Vaccine Will I Get
You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.
Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.
- if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
- if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects after your 1st dose.
Can I Leave Quarantine Or Lockdown To Have My Covid
If you are booked in for your first or second dose vaccination and one of the following applies, you will need to reschedule your appointment through the vaccination booking system or by calling 134 COVID . If you miss your second dose date, you will be re-booked for a date as close as possible.
- You are in home quarantine or hotel quarantine
- You are unwell, even if you have retuned a negative COVID-19 test
- You are in isolation waiting for your COVID-19 test result
If you have a vaccination booking during lockdown and you are well and not in quarantine, please attend your appointment and wear a mask.
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If I Have Been Allergic To Other Vaccines Because Of Egg Allergens Or Preservatives Can I Take The New Covid Vaccines
The Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines dont contain egg or any preservatives found in common vaccines. The vial stoppers are not made with natural rubber latex, so the vaccines are safe for people with latex allergy, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network. If youve ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine, check with your doctor, but in most cases, youll still be encouraged to get the vaccine. As new Covid-19 vaccines come on the market, you should double check ingredient lists if you have had allergic reactions in the past. The Allergy & Asthma Network has published a chart showing all the ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
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Health care providers will likely schedule the second vaccine dose during the first dose appointment, typically with the option of picking another location, if necessary.
A new CDC study reported that a single dose of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s COVID vaccine was 80% effective in preventing infections. That number jumped to 90% two weeks after the second dose, the study on vaccinated health care workers showed.
Complete vaccination is said to be two weeks after a person receives their second dose of the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to health officials.
If side effects persist after either dose of the vaccine, the CDC recommends people take over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or antihistamines, after speaking with a doctor.
The CDC does not recommend, however, that people take such over-the-counter medications or antihistamines to prevent side effects prior to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
Health officials noted that it is not known how those medications might affect the efficacy of the vaccine. For people who take medications for underlying medical conditions, the CDC recommends to continue taking.
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