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Delayed 2nd vaccine dose due to weather is ok, 'but not ideal'

The health department said severe winter weather has caused widespread delays in vaccine shipments across the United States, including in Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s health department said Thursday that people who missed their second COVID-19 vaccine dose appointments due to winter weather can safely delay the second dose by weeks if need be.

The Louisiana Department of Health said “while not ideal,” short delays in getting the second dose is fine. The health department said severe winter weather has caused widespread delays in vaccine shipments across the United States, including in Louisiana.

“Just know, in a pinch, you can safely delay the second dose up to 42 days and likely longer after the first dose if need be, according to the CDC,” the LDH said. The shot will still be effective if there is a short delay in getting the second dose. There is no need to restart the vaccination series if the second dose must be delayed.”

The health department said the delays mean vaccination appointments and events scheduled for this week will need to be adjusted based on delivery. On Thursday, the Ochsner Health System said it had to cancel 500 vaccine appointments due to shipping issues. Terrebonne General Medical Center also announced that it was canceling a Thursday drive-through vaccination event because of the delays.

The second dose for the Moderna vaccine is ideally administered 28 days after the first dose. For Pfizer, it is 21 days. LDH said people should strive to get those second doses on time.

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