The Division of Public Health is vowing to administer second doses of vaccine within the extended CDC timeframe despite the state's shift in focus to getting more first doses in arms.
The state's shift in focus left many who've received their first dose weeks ago frazzled, confused, and frustrated by a lack of clear guidance on when they'd receive their second doses. In some cases, first responders saw their appointments for second doses canceled, WDEL reported.
Since vaccine supply is limited, DPH is recommending that its partners schedule second doses for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine within 28 to 25 days after the first dose is administered. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control said in "extenuating circumstances" it's acceptable to extend the timeframe to administer the second dose by up to 42 days when the 21-28-day timeline isn't feasible.
"This policy will enable the state to continue administering first doses to the vulnerable 65+ population at highest risk of hospitalization and death," DPH spokeswoman Jen Brestel said. "The state is committed to ensuring all Delawareans receive their second dose by day 42, unless federal guidance recommends otherwise."
The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine provides 52% to 80% protection, DPH director Dr. Karyl Rattay has said.
"Delawareans who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine are significantly better protected than their neighbors who haven’t been vaccinated, even without the second dose," said Brestel.
Anyone seeking a second dose of vaccine does not need to go to the same provider or same location where their initial dose was administered; however, it's important that you receive the same vaccine formula, so if your first dose was Moderna, stick with Moderna for your second dose. If your first dose was Pfizer, stick with Pfizer. Your vaccine card indicates which dose you received and when.
Important information for seniors
Any senior who received their first dose of vaccine at a DPH event over the last week weekends will be scheduled for a second shot within the 28 to 35 day window. DPH said it will communicate with those individuals using the CDC/VAMS appointment system upon which seniors registered with initially
Important information for Phase 1a healthcare workers
After postponing at least one Phase 1a vaccination clinic for healthcare workers at the Dover DMV this week, the state said it and its partners will resume vaccinations for this group with priority give to EMS workers, school nurses, and healthcare workers who have the greatest contact with COVID patients.
Additional Phase 1A individuals will be notified about opportunities to receive their second dose through their associations or through correspondence from the Division of Professional Regulation, once DPH has scheduled those events.
Important information for first responders
After first responders had their second dose appointments for vaccinations canceled earlier this week, the state said it is now delivering doses to county paramedic units by Friday. A vaccination event limited to emergency responders is being planned for Monday with appointments made through first responder agencies. Additional dates and locations for vaccine administration will be announced as well as the state works with paramedic agencies, the Delaware Fire Prevention Commission, and the Police Chiefs Council.
Some pharmacies and medical providers administering first dose vaccinations are also scheduling second dose appointments, which they will keep as vaccine supplies allow.