PHOENIX — Nearly 70,000 Arizonans have gotten both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but even still, hundreds of thousands are needing their second shot.
12 News viewers have sent in a variety of concerns over-scheduling their second dose through the Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County.
If you got your first COVID-19 vaccine at a state-run site, second dose appointments are guaranteed.
AZDHS has said they are continuing to hold and guarantee second dose appointments for those who receive their first dose at State Farm Stadium or Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
While all available first dose appointments have been booked at both sites through February for almost a week, second dose appointments are reserved.
On Jan. 22, the state health department started scheduling second dose appointments on-site after someone receives their first dose.
Those who received them before Jan. 22, are to be sent a link via email to schedule their second dose.
If you’re supposed to get a link for your second dose, here are some tips to help.
The state health department said if you receive a link to schedule your second dose at a state-run vaccination site, make sure to select “Glendale POD Dose 2” in the AZDHS portal.
A spokesperson for the department said second dose appointments are available after Feb. 20 and recommends searching each day to find an available appointment.
The department also outlined how to make the second dose appointment here.
AZDHS says State Farm Stadium reservations for second dose appointments are currently booked through Feb. 17.
What if your second dose is, or will be, scheduled after the recommended time frame?
Several 12 News viewers have expressed concerns over getting vaccine effectiveness if they get their second dose not in a timely manner.
The FDA recommends people who receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to receive their second dose at 21 days following their first dose, and the Moderna vaccine 28 days after the first dose.
Dr. David Engelthaler, Director of TGen North in Flagstaff said the second dose acts as a booster to ensure the person is getting as protected as they can from the vaccine.
“It really ensures that very strong immune response from as many people as possible,” Engelthaler said. “What’s interesting is that this vaccine works so well, that even if with the first shot we get a very robust immune response and we’re able to ward off the infection, likely the vast majority of us, with just one shot.”
Engelthaler said because it’s been approved as a two-shot series, it’s important to get both doses. He said the vaccine will still be effective even if it takes a little longer to get the second dose.
“That second dose can be taken anytime after the minimum period, which is three to four weeks. So it could be several weeks later and you won’t run the risk of losing the immunity you got from the first dose,” Engelthaler said.
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