One shot, two shots — How NJ vaccine sites will try to avoid mix-ups
An increasing number of mega-centers, urgent care clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers in New Jersey are starting to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Some locations are giving Pfizer vaccinations, which require two shots 21 days apart, while others are offering the Moderna vaccine, which is a two-shot 28-day regimen.
Meanwhile, the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is expected to be available, which only requires one shot, and the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine also could be approved soon.
There is mounting concern this could all get confusing and some people might wind up getting the wrong shots or getting them improperly spaced out.
According to Dr. Indu Lew, the senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer for RWJ Barnabas Health, a system has been developed to avoid potential problems.
She said when patients arrive at a clinic or mega center to get your vaccine, they will first be given a fact sheet describing the vaccine they're getting.
Most vaccine sites have a system that schedules the second visit for the next dose. Everyone will either get an email or text reminder of the scheduled second dose.
Each person who gets a shot will also receive a CDC vaccine administration card.
“On that administration card it will tell you what you received, which vaccine, whether it was Pfizer or Moderna, and when you need to come back for your second dose,” Lew said.
Some large operations will be calling patients who miss their second does.
Lew said people who miss their second-shot appointment should schedule a new one as soon as possible.
She stressed while every effort will be made to make sure someone gets their second dose, “a lot of that ownership will be on the recipient to make sure that they’re coming in.”