FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) —The vaccination rollout continues in Arkansas with several folks getting their second doses.
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Department of Health tells KNWA/FOX24 news getting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gives you a higher level of protection from getting the coronavirus. It also protects your loved ones but you won’t be able to ditch that mask just yet.
Dr. Dillaha says someone is considered fully vaccinated, two weeks after getting the second dose. That’s because it takes your body some time to build immunity.
However, there are still chances that you can get sick after being fully vaccinated.
“The vaccine in the trials was 100% effective in preventing severe disease and death… But it was only 95% effective in completely preventing COVID-19,” said Dr. Dillaha.
She adds that there are still some unknowns on whether fully vaccinated people can transmit the virus.
This is why she is urging folks to continue to follow all of the safety guidelines, especially wearing your mask, and social distancing.
Now, if you do get sick after being vaccinated it is expected to be on the milder side.
How long does the immunity lasts? That’s the big question.
Dr. Dillaha says all of that information is still being collected and studied but right now it is unclear how long the immunity lasts. She adds that being fully vaccinated and following the safety guidelines work all together to slow the spread of the virus.
Now if you are still waiting to schedule your second dose, you will need to be patient. Pharmacists are pretty busy right now, especially from the delays because of last week’s storm.
When it comes to getting the second dose the ADH says you don’t want to get it until after the minimum interval is up. That is 21 days for the Pfizer and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine.
Dillaha also encourages folks to get it within 6 weeks from getting the first dose for the highest level effectiveness.
Now if you cannot receive within that timeframe there’s no need to restart the process but get it as soon as you can.
She also urges folks to stick to the same provider they used during the first go around.
“If they call to another provider that provider has not been allocated those doses and so that will make it difficult to account for the distribution,” said Dillaha.
Dillaha says the second doses of the vaccines are guaranteed to pharmacies and going to the same provider helps keep the vaccination process in order.
She adds that people should also only make one appointment with one pharmacy and wait their turns. She says making multiple appointments, only disrupts and slows down the process.