LAKELAND, Fla. - Even though the COVID-19 vaccine is in such short supply across Florida, Polk County officials are being told by the state that there will be enough when it is time for residents to get a second dose.
"All we can say is we’re hopeful that occurs," Polk County Emergency Management Director Paul Womble told FOX 13. "We think there is planning at all levels for that, and those second doses will be here."
Since Polk County seniors only started getting vaccinated a short time ago, they are not due for a second dose yet.
Experts say it’s important to get a shot because the first dose only provides partial immunity, about 50%. A second dose should boost your immunity to around 95%.
With the Pfizer vaccine, patients should get the second dose within 21 days, while the second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be given within 28 days.
In some other counties that began inoculating earlier, second shots are already being given, but not everyone is taking them. Of the more than 916,000 people who have been given the first dose statewide, about 40,000 people so far have missed their second appointment.
Experts suspect that some people are worried about side effects from the second dose, which can be more significant than those from the first.
Doctors say in most cases, they would consider reactions to the vaccine to be relatively minor, such as nausea, fatigue, chills and slight fever. They say a day of rest and Tylenol should help clear them up.
"We had 5,500 doses, nowhere near enough for the 65+ community, much less than for everyone else in our county," Womble said.
Womble just hopes that the vaccine supply from the state comes through as promised.
"We can only go by what they tell us," he commented.