BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As more people are receiving their COVID-19 vaccines, more are getting ready for their second dose. But Governor Cuomo says, some are just getting the first shot.
“Some people will not come back for their second dose,” said Cuomo during his Monday media briefing.
You can watch the entire briefing here:
“We want to make sure we're using every dose. So, excess in the nursing home program or excess in the pharmacy program or excess in second doses, where people don't come back, how do we reallocate and use those,” asked Cuomo.
Dr. Thomas Russo, an infectious disease expert at the University of Buffalo, could not stress enough how important the second dose is to control the virus.
“The higher the level of antibodies you have, the more likely it is that will confer protection against the variance, and since we know the second dose will maximize that level of antibody, it's critically important that everyone received their second dose,” said Russo.
Russo says, it's certainly understandable if something comes up, a family matter or the weather, to reschedule your second dose. But, there is only so much time to get the second shot to ensure the vaccine is effective.
“For your second dose, which would be three weeks after your first dose for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks after the first dose for the Moderna vaccine, it's still OK to be scheduled. And right now the CDC is recommending that you could delay that second dose, if needed, up to six weeks after the initial dose," said Russo.
Russo went on to explain that in extremely rare cases some would not a second dose because of a severe allergic reaction to the first does.
It's unclear how many of these second doses have not been administered, but the state says it is looking to use every dose it has, as effectively as it can.