COVID-19 vaccination dates matter, but not necessarily as you may think

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dose by dose, health care workers are slowly vaccinating hundreds of thousands of people across the metro against the COVID-19 virus.

Some of the people giving the vaccines describe it as a long, exhausting process. It’s the same message from some of the thousands of people living in the Kansas City area waiting every week to be notified that a dose of the vaccine is available.

For many, the worry and anxiety over the vaccine doesn’t end after the first shot. They also need to make sure they receive a booster.

The timing of the second shot depends on which vaccine is given. Those who get the Pfizer vaccine need the booster 3 weeks after the first dose. People who receive Moderna’s vaccine need a booster 4 weeks later. The key is to make sure you don’t receive a booster before those key dates. You do not need to get the booster exactly 3 or 4 weeks after your first dose.

Health care experts say they are getting a lot of questions about the timing of the doses. Elizabeth Holzschuh is an epidemiologist at the Johnson County Health Department. She talked about the issue during a Facebook Live event Monday afternoon.

“We are trying to get you in as close to that second date as possible, but there are a lot of moving parts,” Holzschuh said. “One is making sure you aren’t getting it before your due date. If you have to wait a few extra days, that is OK. It does not seem to affect how good of an immune response you get from the vaccine.”

Holzschuh says if you are past the date you expected to get a booster and haven’t heard from the Johnson County Health Department to schedule your next dose, email the health department at jcdhe@jocogov.org.

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