How long is the wait between shots for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The COVID-19 vaccine is starting to be distributed among the community in phases but how quickly will you get both shots? 

We know the COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two shots to have its full effect. Although the distribution is slowly underway, the window to get that second shot will be fast. 

It is the vaccine most Americans are eager to get, but the COVID-19 vaccination rollout from the federal government has been rocky. 

According to Marc Kahn, UNLV’s Dean for their School of Medicine, about 60 percent of the available vaccine has been used. 

“What we are seeing in southern Nevada is some delay of the vaccine from the state and some delay administered to patients,” Dr. Kahn said. 

Right now, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the only ones approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  

“Over the next couple of weeks, it’s expected that we will have emergency use authorization for more vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson,” Dr. Kahn said. 

A person needs to wait 21 days after getting the Pfizer vaccine to get the second shot while the Moderna vaccine requires 28 days of waiting for their second round. 

“You get your first dose which primes and gets your immune system ready,” Dr. Kahn said. “With Moderna four weeks later and Pfizer three weeks later you get your second dose which boost your immune system.” 

The two-step process is part of the governor’s two-lane plan to get the state vaccinated. Residents over 70 years of age will go first as well as public safety according to their plan. 

“Even after two doses of vaccine you can still transmit the virus to others,” Dr. Kahn cautioned. 

Remember that you need to get two shots of the vaccine for it to be effective. 

Even then, health officials tell 8 News Now you should practice social distance, wash your hands and using a face mask because the vaccine is only 95 percent effective. There is still a possibility to catch the virus. 

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