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Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine could be delayed for now 

COVID-19: Adults age 75 and older to be eligible for vaccine starting Monday

CDC says delaying the second dose for up to six weeks does not impact efficacy

–Due to limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, people in San Luis Obispo County who get their first dose may need to wait up to six weeks to get a second dose, which is in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to the San Luis Obispo County Health Department.

Local health officials say that at this time, second-dose appointments may be limited, but that shouldn’t last long as more doses are received each week. People eligible for vaccination can expect to be notified of a second-dose appointment about one month after receiving their first dose.

“Do not be alarmed if you cannot receive your second dose of vaccine on the exact day that you are eligible to,” advised Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Public Health Officer. “While the goal is to administer second doses close to the recommended interval, a few-weeks delay poses no health risks to recipients and will not require that they restart the vaccine series.”

There are currently more people waiting for their second dose than the county has in its vaccine supply. As of Friday, January 22, the County Public Health Department had only received a total 9,035 second doses and administered 10,539 first doses. More vaccine shipments are received each week.

On Jan. 21, the CDC updated their vaccine administration guidance indicating that second doses of vaccine may be administered up to six weeks after the first dose, but no earlier than the required waiting period (three weeks for Pfizer, four weeks for Moderna).

“Everyone will be able to get their second dose of vaccine safely, and in a timely manner following guidelines put forth by the CDC,” Dr. Borenstein said. “Limited vaccine supply from the State means that second-dose appointments may be delayed, but we are very carefully allocating vaccine so that recipients can get their second dose within that six-week period.”

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in SLO County, visit www.RecoverSLO.org/vaccine or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. The County’s Phone Assistance Center at (805) 543-2444, which is now open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.