Doctor explains what happens if your second COVID-19 dose gets delayed or if you miss it

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many have been asking what happens if your appointment for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gets delayed or if you miss your second dose altogether.

The short answer is some protection is better than none.

Dr. Manoj Jain with the Memphis and Shelby County COVID Task Force said on Thursday it’s okay if the second dose isn’t given in the recommended 3-to-4-week time frame.

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It’s recommended to get the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after your first shot, and four weeks for the Moderna vaccine.

Dr. Jain said that’s the minimum time frame, and the CDC says it’s perfectly OK to get the second dose for both versions up to six weeks after the first dose.

He said one dose of the Pfizer vaccine is about 50 percent effective, and one dose of the Moderna is about 80 percent effective.

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After the second dose, both versions are more than 95 percent effective.

Even if you’re beyond the six-week mark for your second dose, Dr. Jain said the CDC does not recommend restarting the series.

He said even with one shot, evidence shows you’ll likely be protected against the most serious disease and symptoms.

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