Winter storm likely to slow La's vaccine deliveries, but officials say patients "can safely delay" booster shots
BATON ROUGE - As poor weather conditions continue to pummel the south, The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) issued a Thursday (Feb. 18) morning news release, stating that vaccine deliveries are likely to be postponed due to weather, which will cause a short delay in the administration of booster shots to patients who already received their first dose.
That said, LDH added that while this is not an ideal situation, such a brief delay should not have a negative impact on patients who are awaiting their second dose. The news release stated, "Residents who miss their second COVID vaccine dose appointments this week can safely delay the second dose days or weeks if need be."
The Department went on to announce that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects this week’s severe winter weather to cause widespread delays in vaccine shipments.
As Louisiana is one of the many states impacted by freezing temperatures, both of its first and second vaccine deliveries have been delayed.
LDH says this means vaccine appointments and events scheduled for this week will need to be adjusted based on delivery.
In addressing what patients should do if their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is delayed, LDH says, "If you have received the Moderna vaccine, ideally your second shot should be given 28 days after your first one."
"If you get the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose should be given 21 days after the first. Just know, in a pinch, you can safely delay the second dose up to 42 days and likely longer after the first dose if need be, according to the CDC."
The Department goes on to state that based on CDC guidelines, the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible, but the shot will still be effective if there is a short delay in getting the second dose. In its Thursday morning news release, LDH says,
"There is no need to restart the vaccination series if the second dose must be delayed."
Listed below are several of LDH's suggestions for patients in need of their second COVID-19 dose:
-Make sure to communicate with the doctor or vaccination site at the time of your first dose to get a second shot appointment.
-If the appointment is cancelled due to delivery delays, weather, or you miss it, call the site to be rescheduled. Make sure to let the site know you need your second dose, and what date your first dose was administered on.
-Even though it is acceptable to delay the second dose days or weeks if need be, it should still be the goal to get this second dose on time (21 days after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine or 28 days after a first dose of the Moderna vaccine).
Click here for additional information from the Louisiana Department of Health.