Covid vaccine questions answered


COVID-19 Dashboards

(WETM)- The question is, if I were to get my first vaccine dose, and then I missed my appointment for my second one for some reason I waited too long. Do I have to start my process all over again and start from scratch with the vaccine process.

Dr. Michael Scalzone, the Executive Vice President of Guthrie says, “the second dose does boost the response that the body has, creating more antibodies and more protection. So we do know that the two dose series is much more effective than just having a single dose of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine that timely has been shown to not be quite so critical. So in other words, if you miss that second dose, don’t hesitate, you’re still going to get added protection, so there’s no risk to doing that, there’s no downside, and if you’ve received one but haven’t completed the series we’ve certainly encouraged people to get that second dose as quickly as they can.”

18 News asked Scalzone, “now that there’s a booster shot people wondering, well, okay, I’ve got two vaccine doses… or if I got Johnson and Johnson, I got just one, but does that mean I’m not fully vaccinated?”

Scalzone explains, “we still consider people who had either the two doses of Pfizer and Moderna or one dose of Johnson and Johnson to be fully vaccinated, but we’ve learned with a lot of other vaccines that protection can decrease over time. So if you think about other vaccines, we use the flu vaccine every year, so that that protection doesn’t last forever. We realize that that really excellent initial protection is still good, down the road a few months…it’s particularly good for preventing hospitalizations. But, it is less than it was initially. So, the science suggested that a booster shot can get back up to the same level of protection that 90-95% protection that we initially saw after the first vaccination series.”

As 18 News has reported, covid cases, particularly in the Southern Tier, are on the rise. The Southern Tier is also seeing some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. Dr. Scalzone is encouraging everyone who hasn’t gotten their shot to get vaccinated, as well as doing what you can to stay safe. Even the simple things like washing your hands. Especially as we inch closer to flu season.

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