Health officials remind people to get second COVID-19 vaccine regardless of clinic location

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - According to state health officials, 630,000 Texans are overdue for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC people should get their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, they recommend getting the second dose four weeks later. However, health officials say more than 630,000 Texans had been 43 or more days from their first COVID vaccine shot and still hadn’t gotten their second shot.

“Getting it at any time is ideal and ultimately we’re trying to get out of our masks, cut down on the variants, cut down on the stress of the hospitals and being half vaccinated doesn’t do that well enough because you can be infected and still at risk to others,” said Russell Hopkins, the director of public health and emergency preparedness with NET Health. He said East Texas numbers are trending better than the state for people getting their second vaccine in that 21 to 28 day time frame.

“Most of ours are folks who have gotten the vaccine somewhere else. So it doesn’t show us giving that second dose,” Hopkins said. “However those strays that exist in that tracking system means that, when that’s reconciled, we’ll have probably a better percentage than we currently do.”

Another scenario they are seeing is people who are getting the first dose in one place and the second in another, which Hopkins said is okay. They want the process to be convenient for people.

“You should not have to wait for your shot to get back home, or to cause a special trip. If you happen to be out of town and you find a provider who can give you the correct dose, you should take it,” Hopkins said.

As of this afternoon, more than 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Texas. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 9.5 million Texans are fully vaccinated.

Hopkins said their supply has now exceeded demand, so if you need your second or first dose you can walk in at Harvey Hall in Tyler and they can get you in, with or without your vaccine card.

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