Today, the Division of Public Health announced an updated approach to administering second doses in response to new guidance from the CDC. The CDC announced Friday that an interval of 42 days between doses is acceptable, if adhering to the 21-day (Pfizer) and 28-day (Moderna) intervals is not possible.
It’s been a little under two weeks since Delaware began vaccinating the 65+ population. Today, almost 90,000 Delawareans have been vaccinated — nearly 9% of our population. Delaware is now one of the top ten states in getting vaccine out the door. Beginning next week, Delaware’s supply of the vaccine will increase by 16%.
The CDC announced last week that when vaccine supply is limited, the window for second doses can be changed to 42 days. The Governor’s office said the theme is shared sacrifice. If those who have gotten first doses wait just a little longer (but still within CDC’s window) to get their second dose, more Delawareans can get protected with their first dose. (The first dose offers between 52%-80% protection. That’s better than a flu shot.)
After a pause due to vaccine supply issues, the state and partners are resuming vaccinations for Phase 1A health care workers giving priority to Emergency Medical Services personnel, school nurses, and health care workers who provide patient care and are at highest risk of sustained close contact with infected individuals.
Doses are being delivered to county paramedic units by Friday and a vaccination event limited to emergency responders is being planned for Monday, with appointments made through first responder agencies. DPH began working on Thursday with the County Paramedic Agencies, Delaware Fire Prevention Commission and the Police Chiefs Council to determine additional dates and locations as well. 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.
Second doses of the vaccine do not need to be administered by the same provider or at the same location as an individual’s first dose, meaning as vaccines become more widely available so will options for where to get second doses. Some pharmacies and medical providers administering first dose vaccinations are scheduling second dose appointments which they will keep as vaccine supplies allow. However, it is important that all individuals who are vaccinated receive the same formulations of the vaccine for their second dose. In other words, those who received Moderna for the first dose should receive Moderna for their second dose. The same goes for the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to keep their vaccine card to ensure they know what vaccine they received and when.
DPH intends to provide second dose options for Phase 1B seniors who have been vaccinated in DPH events over the last two weekends as they reach the 28-35 day window. DPH will communicate with those individuals and schedule them for second doses using the CDC’s VAMS appointment system that was used to schedule first doses, or for those who received their vaccination before the registration system went live, information will be provided on de.gov/covidvaccine
or through community partners.