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Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccination Can Be Delayed

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The winter weather that hit the southern United States has caused delays in shipping COVID-19 vaccines to Oregon and other regions.

This forced Samaritan Health Services and its partners in Linn and Lincoln counties to reschedule vaccination clinics this week for patients who were scheduled to receive their second dose. However, those who receive their second dose late will still develop full immunity after the second dose.

“The recommended timeline in between the two doses is the minimum amount of time recommended,” said Adam Brady, MD, infectious disease specialist and chair of Samaritan’s Coronavirus Task Force. “Once you do receive the second dose, it will provide the same protection as if you had received it at the recommended timing, just a bit later”

Research has indicated that the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is about 50% effective in preventing illness with a COVID infection. The booster dose takes that effectiveness up to 95%. The recommended timing between Pfizer doses is 21 days, and 28 for Moderna.

“The first dose works with the immune system to develop a response against the novel coronavirus, and the booster dose further strengthens the immune system’s response to ensure 95% effectiveness,” Dr. Brady said.

Patients who had appointments for their vaccines this week have been rescheduled for next week. More shipments of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are slated to arrive in Oregon next week for these patients and future clinics.

Information on mass vaccination clinics in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties can be found at samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine as the information becomes available. This includes appointment-scheduling information for all three counties.

Individuals who have difficulty scheduling online can call 855-441-2311 to schedule or be added to a county waitlist. This line will be answered when appointments are available or individuals can be added to the waitlist; at times, the line will include a message asking you to call back the following week as outbound calls are made to those on the waitlist to help them schedule their appointments.