covid-19 vaccine

Some Seniors Anxious Over When They'll Receive Second COVID Vaccine Dose

The Department of Health told NBC 6 this week, so far, 3,344 doses had been reported as wasted. 

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For Margie Thompson, getting the COVID-19 vaccine was a priority.

“I’m scared to death to get COVID,” she said.

The 74-year-old also said she misses her family – a big reason why she was among the first to get vaccinated at Hard Rock Stadium when it opened to the public on Jan. 8.

“We were in line for five hours,” she said. “It was kind of a nightmare, but we made it to the front and got the shot.”

That day, she said, she was given a card to remind her the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was due Friday, Jan. 29.    

“Tomorrow is three weeks and I have no idea,” she said Thursday.  “I call, I’ve done everything you can imagine.”

Margie said she had been unable to secure an appointment or get information on what she needed to do to make sure she got the second dose of the vaccine. The uncertainty, she said, was difficult to deal with.

“It’s stressful and I feel it’s abusive for a senior to have to go through this,” she said.

According to vaccination numbers provided by the Florida Department of Health on Thursday, of the 612,744 seniors in Margie’s age group who had been vaccinated so far, 42,024 had completed the series. In Dade County, 22.3% of all people vaccinated had received both doses. In Broward County, that number was lower at around 18%. 

The Department of Health told NBC 6 this week, so far, 3,344 doses had been reported as wasted. That number included vials broken either in transit or during administration, as well as any vials that were thawed and unable to be administered within the recommended time for use. The department also said 99.8% of doses administered were being administered without any issues, spoilage, or waste.

Still, for Margie, a dose wasted is one too many.

“It’s appalling and it’s mismanagement,” Margie said.

She said she was anxiously waiting for her second dose.

“I’m frantic about this because I really want to be protected like everybody else,” she said.

On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, it said the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered three weeks after the initial dose. If that was not feasible, the CDC said the second dose may be scheduled for up to six weeks after the first dose. You can read more here.

NBC 6 reached out to the Florida Department of Health Thursday to ask what someone in Margie’s situation should do but did not immediately hear back.

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