ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, a new problem is emerging: many people are being diagnosed with COVID after receiving their first vaccine shot and before receiving their second shot.
Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed what happens in this scenario.
“It’s a great question and it’s happened to a number of folks that I take care of. So if someone has a COVID infection, if they have symptoms the guidelines are the same as even if you’re not between your vaccinations is that you need to have 10 days after your last symptom and your last fever before you may go off isolation and that includes going in for your vaccination. So in that case you would need to postpone the vaccination. And even though the intervals are three weeks and four weeks respectively are ideal, postponing two weeks is not a problem. If someone finds that they’re COVID infected and did not have symptoms the guideline there says it has to be 10 days after the positive PCR test, which you may go off isolation and then go in for your second vaccination. So it’s really relatively straightforward. It’s 10 days after the last symptom or in asymptomatic 10 days after the positive test and you’d go back for the second vaccination after that.”Dr. Colleen Fogarty, Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine
This scenario is happening with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which require two doses for the patient to achieve immunity. It does not apply to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which only requires one shot.
Dr. Fogarty said any delay in receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should not be cause for concern.
“It is not thought to affect the effectiveness. The intervals were studied in the initial population of patients that were the trial subjects for the vaccine and it’s really the minimum interval is three weeks and four weeks respectively and, like I said, waiting up until two weeks additional is not thought to affect the immunogenicity of that vaccination.”