AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A doctor with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine explained the way this two part vaccine works, is similar to learning new material.
You learn it the first time and sort of understand but, it takes some time to process. Then once you review the material, it makes much more sense.
It takes about two weeks after the first dose, before your immune system begins ramping up against the virus.
Even then, the first dose gives about a 50 percent immunity as compared to the 95 percent you get with both doses.
In Amarillo, 18 thousand individuals have received the first dose of the vaccine through the public health department clinic. That, is not counting everyone else who has received the vaccine elsewhere in town.
According to health officials, the vaccine distribution situation fluctuates depending on when the state receives a shipment, which means the window between getting the first and second dose varies on availability.
“We have not received the second doses yet at the Civic Center yet but, we are scheduled to receive those starting the week of the 25th. So, everybody needs to look at their cards,” said Casie Stoughton, director of the Amarillo Public Health Department.
The amount of time you have to wait depends on the vaccine. For Pfizer you must wait 21 days and for Moderna you must wait 28 days before getting the second dose.
It is important to note you could get the second dose months after, as long as it is not before. However, it is recommended to get it as soon as it is available following the 21 or 28 days.
For those who may contract COVID-19 in between the first and second doses, you still have to isolate and follow CDC guidelines.
If you did contract the virus in between doses, but are due for the second one, it is beneficial to take into consideration your symptoms before deciding.
“If you had a major collection of symptoms from COVID, I think most people would say you probably ought to wait some to get the second dose,” said Dr. Young, regional chair and professor of family and community medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine “Don’t do it if you just barely got out of bed and you are just trying so hard to struggle in there, cause there is a chance it can provoke a significant response that your weaken body is not quite ready to deal with.”
He adds that, like with every vaccine, there is always a chance of still becoming infected. But, the key is to reach a point in immunity where it is not likely.
He recommends people continue wearing masks and follow CDC guidelines.