Reminder from doctors: You're not 'fully vaccinated' until 2 weeks after last dose of COVID vaccine

Posted at 5:03 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 18:21:50-04

MUSKEGON, Mich — As vaccinations continue nationwide, doctors remind West Michigan that you’re not considered “fully vaccinated” until two weeks after your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s worth repeating because they’ve seen a few cases where people have gotten COVID in between their two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.

“I just don’t want people to get false security,” said Dr. Claudia Jarrin MD, the medical director of infection prevention and control at Mercy Health Muskegon.

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It can be tempting to slip into that feeling of security after only one dose, but Dr. Jarrin said it would be wise to keep your guard up.

“We are also seeing some cases where people who receive one shot of the two-dose vaccines and they have COVID, so people are getting this false sense of security like, ‘Okay, I got my one shot; I can go meet with other people without wearing a mask, etc.’ and that’s not the case,” she said.

According to data submitted to the FDA, protection after the first dose was at least 52 percent for Pfizer and at least 51 percent for Moderna. However, some newer studies suggest the protection could be even higher. Still, your chances of getting COVID aren’t zero.

Dr. Jarrin said, “You are not considered fully vaccinated until at least 14 days have passed from your last dose of your vaccine.”

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As she also points out, depending on when you get sick in between, it could throw off the timing of the second dose.

“It may delay the vaccine for certain people who get COVID very close to their second shot,” Dr. Jarrin explained. “Even if you get COVID in the middle of these two-shot vaccines, you can still receive your second shot once your symptoms are better and your isolation has completed.”

Mercy Health announced Friday that 25 percent of the population in Muskegon has been fully vaccinated.

In the meantime, masks and social distancing are still recommended until two weeks after your final vaccine dose.

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