The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first if a delay is necessary
Get 2nd COVID vaccine on time, CDC urges
By CNN staff | January 28, 2021 at 11:41 AM EST – Updated January 28 at 12:08 PM
(CNN) – While there’s a small amount of wiggle room when it comes to getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to make sure they get the second dose of the same vaccine on time.
“That would be three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for the Moderna vaccine,” according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director.
She knows that sometimes life can get in the way and some may miss their second dose window.
“In those circumstances, the second dose may be given up to six weeks, or 42 days, after the first,” Walensky said.
The most common vaccine side effects are pain, swelling and redness in the arm where you got the shot.
Chills, tiredness and headaches are more commonly seen after the second dose.
The side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine but go away in a few days. Most of them have been mild to moderate.
“These symptoms mean that your immune system is revving up and the vaccine is actually working,” according to Walensky.
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However, the CDC says a small number of people have had severe side effects that affected their ability to do daily activities.
Severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis are not, a major problem with the coronavirus vaccines so far. Only a handful of cases have been reported.
“Let me be clear. These are rare treatable outcomes, and the COVID-19 vaccines are safe,” Walensky said.
If you’ve had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it wasn’t severe, to any ingredient in the vaccines, the CDC says you shouldn’t get it.
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