Doctors recommend going to same place for 2nd vaccine dose, barring special circumstances

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As the vaccine rollout ramps up, people who got a Pfizer or Moderna shot will need to come back for a second dose.

While most vaccinators schedule second doses on the spot, there are some special circumstances if you’ve moved from a different state or weren’t scheduled for a second dose.

People who received their first doses at places like Walgreens, at the Wisconsin Center or from the Milwaukee Health Department have their second dose scheduled at that time. Experts say it’s highly recommended people get their second dose at the same location.

“Much easier if you maintain the same injection location for the first and second vaccine dose, just because the likelihood of getting it all right is much greater,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health.

The Wisconsin DHS says people should get their second dose at the same location as the first, pharmacies say it helps with the vaccination supply chain from the federal government and the state.

“The state provides us the second doses based on who got their first doses with us,” says Hashim Zaibak, owner of Hayat Pharmacy.

Doctors say there are two benefits to getting your first and second dose at the same place. The first reason is you’ll have the right timing between both doses for the best protection, and second— you’ll get the right vaccine.

“They know what brand of vaccine you got the first time and then they know to give you the same brand the second time,” adds Dr. Pothof.

If you go to a different location for your second dose, there are some risks. Experts say it’s crucial you have your CDC vaccination card with you if you do.

“The schedule may not work exactly so that you can get that vaccine in the optimal timeframe, and two, it’s possible they may be using a different vaccine,” Dr. Pothof said.

“They have to come with that white card, because it really makes it a lot easier for us as providers,” Zaibak says.

While it’s recommended to stick with the same provider, there are special circumstances. Hayat Pharmacy says because the CDC vaccination card is federal, it means they can vaccinate someone who moved into Wisconsin from a different state or even just a different city.

“Maybe got their first dose in Green Bay and now they’ve moved to Milwaukee, we’ll take care of them, we are flexible,” adds Zaibak.

“If you had a second vaccination site and they can do it within the timeline and they can use the vaccine, you would be fine,” Dr. Pothof said.

If you lose your vaccination card, Zaibak suggests going to the place where you got your first dose to get it reissued. The maximum recommended time you should go between your first and second dose is 42 days.

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