Some of the same problems that have plagued the coronavirus vaccine rollout could also make it harder for people to get the second dose of the vaccines.
Why it matters: The two vaccines authorized so far both require two shots to reach the full potential of their protection, and those second shots need to happen within a specific window of time —putting extra pressure on a system that’s already struggling to work out its kinks.
What's next: This week will be “when we’re really starting to scale up to the second dose..the challenge is going to be about the availability of inventory and scheduling,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in an interview.
- “Unlike the first dose, you’ve gotta get the second dose within that time window, so there’s a little more criticality to it,” he added.
The problem: Some states say they don’t have enough visibility into how many doses of vaccine they are getting from the federal government, and when.
- “You need to have information on that entire supply chain,” said Celine Gounder, a professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “Forget second doses, we just don’t know where doses are.”
- “You need to have visibility three to four weeks in advance to make sure you have that dose in hand, on time, for those patients who are coming back for a second dose,” said Jessica Daley, a vice president at Premier Inc., which works with health systems across the country.