Lynn and Morales are among the people in the United States who faced challenges in scheduling the timing of the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
“There’s some confusion out there,” Lynn said. “I’m just telling my friends and acquaintances to stay focused and read what you know and empower yourself.”
When Lynn found out in January that the Publix supermarket chain began offering Covid-19 vaccines in some stores in Florida, she immediately made an online appointment for herself and her husband, Mark Young.
In the state of Florida, they are in the privileged age group of 65 and older, and Lynn said she is “in ecstasy” and will be vaccinated. However, getting to their appointment was a challenge.
At the time, Publix performed vaccinations in three counties in Florida as a test, Lynn said, adding that her husband and she do not live near those counties.
“So, it took a lot of things – a long drive and a hotel stay,” Lynn told CNN on Monday.
“The city where it took place – Spring Hill, Florida – is over three hours away. I think I had a meeting at 9:30 in the morning and I didn’t want to risk a three hours – plus a trip that day. So we decided to take one. we sleep overnight, ”Lynn said. “We even did a trial run that night to see where our hotel is in relation to the supermarket. So we were careful.”
Lynn said that on the morning of their meeting, she thought the vaccinations were “very organized.” He said he had received the first dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and was told that he could visit any Publix site to get his second dose. The Moderna vaccine is given as two shots, 28 days apart.
“Everyone was very optimistic at the time, thinking there would only be a lot of doses coming through the pipeline,” Lynn said.
After 28 days, Lynn said she had booked a Publix site near her home to receive her second dose.
“I was very happy,” Lynn said. “Then about an hour later, we got a phone call from the pharmacist at Publix and we said we couldn’t discuss it. How can that be?” Because we’re about to go down to Spring Hill, Florida. There’s a dose with your name on it. And you should get this. “
Lynn said her husband and she drove again for three hours to discuss early Saturday morning. They stayed in the same hotel for one night.
“It was like deja vu, when I did the same trip, I went up to the hotel. This time we didn’t have to do a trial run because we knew where the supermarket was,” Lynn said.
Lynn said her husband and she successfully received the second dose. He described the full experience of the second dose discussions as “too difficult,” but well worth the hassle.
“It’s life and death – and I just want to give myself as many benefits as I can, and I just hope others feel the same way. And hopefully, a story like that empowers people that you just can’t wait for,” he said.
Concerns about misinformation
New York-based Morales said he strongly feels his grandparents in Florida need to get their Covid-19 vaccine.
His mother, an 87-year-old mother and 85-year-old mother, was diagnosed with Covid-19 in the summer and said her family did not want to relive it.
“His case was much more serious than my grandmother’s. It was a very scary time,” Morales said. – Fortunately, they both recovered.
As soon as vaccinations became available in Florida, Morales said his mother, Dellonilda Padrón, who lived near her grandparents, was working to vaccinate.
Dellonilda told CNN on Monday that her father still hadn’t received the vaccine, but he could have discussed the first dose with his mother at West Medical Center in West Chester, Miami.
Her mother, Rosario Estela Padrón, received a dose of Pfizer / BioNTech and is scheduled to return to the medical center in 21 days to receive her second dose.
“He should have received the second on the third of February,” Dellonilda told CNN on Tuesday. But Dellonilda said when she called the medical center to confirm the appointment of her mother’s second dose, she was told there were no doses of the vaccine available.
“There’s no second, and I called almost every day,” Dellonilda said. – They said they would call when they got the second dose.
Dellonilda said she was misinformed about the vaccine while trying to schedule her parents ’vaccination dates – including medical center staff who told her her parents“ probably don’t need it ”because they already had Covid. 19, he said.
Dellonilda’s daughter, Morales, told CNN on Tuesday that she was “very concerned” that this type of misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine came from a healthcare provider.
Health officials are currently calling people recovering from Covid-19 to be immunized. CNN contacted the Leon Medical Center on Tuesday to confirm its policy and was told that “we recommend that patients who have previously received Covid-19 continue to be vaccinated.”
Leon Medical Centers said in a statement to CNN in an email that every patient in their healthcare system who received the first dose is automatically scheduled for a second dose, and the second dose is currently kept in stock and on site.
“For the sake of clarity, no one has been denied a second vaccination for lack of vaccination, who needs to adjust the second dose, and who has been clinically cleared,” the statement said. The center confirmed with CNN that it was “clarifying the possible confusion” over Dellonilda’s mother, Rosario, for the second dose.
Dellonilda confirmed Tuesday that Leon Medical Centers had contacted her in response to a CNN report and plans to take her mother on Wednesday to get a second dose of the vaccine.
The center added in a statement that the vaccination process has been “smooth” so far and “it is an honor for us to play a small role in this effort”.
In response to a statement from Leon Medical Centers, Dellonilda’s daughter, Morales, told CNN on Tuesday that she did not believe the challenges in scheduling her grandparents ’vaccination dates were due to“ typos ”.
Health officials are looking into it more closely
Lori Tremmel Freeman, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), told CNN on Monday that she had heard anecdotal reports that some vaccination sites were canceling appointments for the second dose, but it was still unclear why the resignations were being made. a second dose is automatically reserved when the initial dose of vaccine is delivered.
“You will receive vaccine A at the same time that vaccine B is kept in reserve, so I don’t know what could cause the lack of a second vaccine dose, because the system is designed to deliver automatically at the prescribed intervals after the first vaccine,” he said. Freeman.
“If vaccines somehow use the second batch shipment to perform the first vaccinations for priority groups, it could distort the whole process,” he said. “I don’t know why or when it would happen, but I’m worried I hear these things.”
Freeman said he plans to look more closely at these events. NACCHO meets weekly with the White House, and Freeman said he intends to share these concerns at this week’s meeting.
CNN contacted the state of Florida, where Morales ’grandparents and Lynn currently live, to comment. But in some states, second-dose discussions may fall outside the usual schedule.
For example, Chad Wasdin, a spokesman for Georgia’s Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments, told CNN that some of their second-dose vaccinations are outside the usual three- to four-week Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccinations. But all second doses are given within a maximum of six weeks as recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
“Now that we have larger sites, we’re working to bring as many second doses as possible closer to the recommended date,” Wasdin said. – We didn’t cancel the second dose.
Shelby Anderson, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health, also confirmed to CNN that in Washington state, the ministry has asked providers to “schedule the date of the second dose until patients receive their first dose.”
In California, Darrel Ng, a spokesman for the state’s Covid-19 vaccination task force, told CNN in an email on Monday that vaccine availability was “extremely limited.”
According to Ng, in addition to a “relatively flat” amount, large community clinics must give a limited amount of the second dose of vaccine intended three weeks ago. “We are working with our federal partners to increase the overall supply to the state,” he said.
White House to increase vaccination supply to states
The Biden government announced on Tuesday it would increase the number of weekly doses of vaccine delivered to states, tribes and territories by 28%.
Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said in a White House Covid-19 briefing that when the Biden government took office, the U.S. government’s weekly vaccine delivery to the states was 8.6 million doses. That elevates that 11 million Zients.
“I know Americans hardly want to be vaccinated,” Zients said. “We’re working with manufacturers to increase the supply of vaccines as quickly as possible.”
Zients attributed the increase to production support, including the application of the Defense Production Act to help deliver more equipment to Pfizer and a distribution system that allows for rolling stock inventories of the first and second batches for delivery to states.
“Growth this week is 5% compared to last week, but in the last three weeks it is 28%,” – said Zients. “I think the manufacturers are doing a good job and the president and the team are doing their best to support the manufacturing process.”
The administration announced Friday that it will use DPA to expand Pfizer’s priority rating, including filling pumps and other components needed to make Covid-19 vaccines, which will eliminate the current bottleneck in production.
CNN’s Jen Christensen, Jamie Gumbrecht, Ashley Ahn and Sandee LaMotte contributed to this report.