The Christian County Health Department on Wednesday asked the public to wait 28 days before scheduling their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The health department is administering the Moderna vaccine, which like Pfizer, requires two doses in order to achieve the optimal 95% efficacy exhibited in clinical trials. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the second dose should be administered 28 days later.
However, as countries face the possibility of vaccine shortages, several health organizations have adjusted vaccine protocols — despite the fact those such changes have not been studied in large clinical trials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new guidelines that extend the recommended interval between doses to six weeks. The FDA has not yet followed suit — earlier this month it reminded the public about the importance of receiving COVID-19 vaccines according to guidelines authorized by the agency to receive the level of protection observed in large clinical trials.
“Patients can receive their second dose 28 to 42 days after the first shot,” health department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney said in a release Wednesday. “Because the health department is only scheduling two to three days in advance, patients should contact the health department 28 days after their first dose to schedule their second vaccine appointment.”
The request is a shift from an update to the health department’s vaccine websiteasking individuals to wait 25 to 26 days to schedule their second appointment.
The department also announced Wednesday that it will only accept appointments for those who received their first shot from the department.
“If patients received the first COVID-19 shot from another provider, they will need to make an appointment with that same provider for the second dose,” Sweeney said.
Patients are required to present their vaccination card during their second appointment, according to the release.