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State Epidemiologist Clarifies Vaccine Dose Schedule


The COVID-19 vaccine requires two dozes a few weeks apart. That can mean an added challenge for distribution. But the state’s epidemiologist says there’s some leeway in the acceptable time between doses.

The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose 21 days after the first. State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says there’s a four-day grace period.

“So an individual could receive the vaccine starting on day 17, and ideally that vaccine would be given no later than day 25.”

But Clayton says a person should still get their second dose even if that timeframe has passed.

“If an individual is receiving the vaccine after day 25, that person does not have to restart their vaccine series. They are just to receive--as soon as they are available--that second dose of vaccine.”

Both doses of the vaccine are required to reach the 95% efficacy rate.

-Contact SDPB reporter Jackie Hendry by email.

Jackie is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls Studio.