Vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines? Make sure to get your second shot

If you’ve gotten a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll need a second shot before you are fully immunized. Getting a second shot will give you the most protection. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it

You may have had side effects from your first shot and don’t want to experience them again. Even though getting vaccinated may result in some discomfort, the side effects produced from vaccination are minor compared to those that can be produced from COVID-19. While side effects can be uncomfortable for a short time, they are not as difficult as actually having the illness. COVID-19 can cause severe illness which can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.  

Here’s what you need to know about getting a second shot:  

  • If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot three weeks (or 21 days) after your first. 
  • If you received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot four weeks (or 28 days) after your first. 
  • Schedule your second shot at the same location as you got the first shot. 
  • If you missed the timeline for your second dose, you may still be able to receive it. Check with your vaccinator or health care provider.  

For more information on second shots visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.  

This article first appeared in the April 7, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.