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Talk To Us: COVID Questions

Wake Forest Baptist Health
Wake Forest Baptist Health is using its Mobile Health Clinic to provide convenient COVID-19 vaccinations to older adults.

BPR is answering listener queries about the coronavirus in a new segment –Talk to Us: COVID Questions.  BPR’s Helen Chickering brings us this week’s answer. 

This week's question comes from Steve Bull of Haywood County.

“Hi, I am hesitant to schedule a  vaccine because I'm not sure that I can do it (get the second shot) within the prescribed amount of time. What's the current guidance on that issue? Thank you very much.”

Good question. To find an answer we checked with Dr. Christopher Ohl,   an infectious disease expert with Wake Forest Baptist Health and a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest School of Medicine.


Credit WFBH
Dr. Christopher Ohl, Wake Forest Baptist Health.

“If one received the Pfizer or Moderna messenger RNA vaccine, and for some reason could not get back by the 21-day or 28-day mark respectably, there's still hope, says Dr. Ohl.   

"One just needs to present within six weeks for the second shot and data shows that the efficacy of the vaccine is just as good. So, if you couldn't make it in the right time, get it as soon as you can afterwards, and you'll have no concern."

Do you have a COVID question you'd like answered? Record a voice memo and send it to voices@bpr.org or use the talk to us feature on the free BPR mobile app. I'm Helen Chickering BPR news.

Additional information from the Communications office of the NC Department of Health and Human Services:

For two-dose vaccines, you should get the second vaccine dose as close to the recommended time as possible—3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech or 4 weeks for Moderna. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. Currently, only limited data are available on efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. The vaccine can be given up to four days early and still work. If you get the second dose too early, you should not get another dose.  Individuals can find more questions about the COVID-19 vaccine answered in the NCDHHS FAQ online as well.


Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.