Local Health officials say second dose delay should not be a concern

Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– The race is on to get the remaining 53% of Bay County seniors vaccinated for COVID-19, but mother nature may have other plans. Snow may not be outside your door, but the impacts of the freeze across the country can be felt right here at home.

“We are seeing nationwide, especially with the Moderna vaccine it is being delayed due to the weather, the Moderna plant where they are shipped from is in Memphis, Tennessee,” said Heather Kretzer, Public Information Officer for the Bay County Department of Health.

Kretzer said the department has had to reschedule second dose appointments scheduled to be given out on February 19 at the Callaway Arts and Conference, to next Friday, February 26th. She adds that for those individuals the date and time for their original appointment will remain the same.

Kretzer said she believes there could be more delays, even for first doses of the vaccine.

“Because of not receiving them we have not been able to give out first doses this week so that’s 500 additional doses we hope to give out next week,” Kretzer said.

The Moderna vaccine must be kept refrigerated, Kretzer said those receiving vaccines should not be concerned about a possible expiration date.

“Once that vial is opened we have 6 hours to use those doses, and we have not had any wasted doses from DOH Bay,” Kretzer said.

Local doctor, Dr. Rubina Azam said patients should not worry about a delay in receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.

“The CDC has released new guidelines and it’s okay if the second dose is delayed up to 42 days from the first dose.”

Dr. Azam said the second dose could even be administered four days prior to the scheduled second dose appointment. While Dr. Azam added getting the second dose as close to the 28th day is preferable, the vaccine will still be effective.

“I know people are very concerned, but to be honest it’s not going to impact their immune response it’s still going to be as effective,” Dr. Azam said.

The Bay County Health Department said as of Thursday, they are still planning to keep their appointments that they have scheduled for next week

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