COVID-19 Vaccine: Here’s what experts says about second COVID shot

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Through the COVID-19 vaccine in just a little over two months, millions of people have been successfully vaccinated against novel COVID-19. Many, including the ones in India, are waiting in line to get their second COVID-19 shot, which is crucial to garnering full-term protection and efficacy.

While getting both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine is vital, experts are seeing a dip in the number of people turning up to get their shots. Vaccine hesitancy, fear of side-effects, mismatched schedules, and unavailability are currently some of the reasons why doses are being missed. The tight crunch of vaccine supplies is also forcing many to skip out on receiving timely doses.

Missing doses as per your turn may render the vaccine not working fully well. For any vaccine to work well, it’s also important that they are administered in a given window, mentioned on the factsheet.

Therefore, if a person misses out on the second shot, or fails to get the shot in time, it can lead to difficulties. However, there might still be ways to secure full protection against COVID-19, which is still claiming lives. If you are scheduled to get your second COVID-19 dose or maybe contemplating missing the date, here’s what officials want you to know.

Most vaccines being administered right now, in India and other countries are offered as a two-dose regime, which requires people to turn up for a repeat vaccine dose weeks after the initial jab is offered.

While a single dose regimen can save up supplies and speed up the process, vaccine doses administered weeks apart help strengthen immunity and generate antibodies needed to offer protection against COVID-19.

Under the current guidelines, two full doses of the vaccine are needed to offer full protection against the deadly virus. It should be noted that while a single dose of the vaccine can also offer some level of protection, a second dose will offer full efficacy right now. For example, if a vaccine has an established rate of 94%, the initial dose may offer 60% protection, while getting the second dose will help a person secure the established level of efficacy, which is 94%.

In many cases, getting the second dose of the vaccine can also strengthen antibody count for those who may have an ill-functioning immune system, who may not see the vaccine working desirably well with the first jab.

The waiting window between vaccine doses can also differ based on the type of vaccine you are administered, and the ingredients in it.

In India, right now, the two vaccines which are being used right now are traditional vaccines, which are meant to be dosed 4-6 weeks apart for maximum efficacy. In comparison to this, the mRNA vaccines, such as Moderna’s and Pfizer have a shorter waiting time. Pfizer’s have a shorter waiting time. Pfizer’s second shot is to be administered 21 days after the first dose, while Moderna’s shot is to be given exactly 28 days after the first shot.

There’s a huge doubt which concerns people who may miss their vaccine dose right now. While vaccines have an ideal “recommended” time period of inoculation, there’s no denying that not getting a second shot, or a delay in the second shot will render the COVID-19 vaccine completely ineffective.

The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a previous statement have also talked about the same. Accounting for miscellaneous gaps and unavailability of vaccines, officials say that while it may be ideal that vaccines are injected “as close to the recommended interval”, the vaccine doses can still be delayed up to a while.


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