There’s no maximum time between a first and second coronavirus shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
In updated guidance about what people can expect from Covid-19 shots, the CDC indicated that Americans should not worry too much about waiting longer than the recommended time for a second dose of vaccine.
“Both COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will need 2 shots to get the most protection. The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received,” the CDC says in additions made to its website Monday.
“You should get your second shot: for the Pfizer-BioNTech 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot; for the Moderna 1 month (or 28 days) after your first shot,” it adds.
“You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval."
The World Health Organization said last week that people can wait for as long as six weeks between doses. Pfizer and Moderna both say they don’t have any data on how long people can wait between doses and still get good protection. But the CDC, WHO, the companies and other experts all say people need to make sure they get two doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson is finishing up trials of its vaccine, which is designed to need only a single dose.
“With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot,” the CDC said. “It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.”