BUFFALO, N.Y. — While a lot of people are struggling to make an appointment to get their first dose of the vaccine, we're hearing from people who are also having issues getting appointments for their second dose.
We talked about this topic earlier this week when we answered some of your questions.
QUESTION: Can you tell me if an appointment has to be made for the second dose, or is the appointment made at the time of the first?
ANSWER: spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health told us if you're making an appointment on the state's website for a state-run site, you should only make an appointment for your first dose. He says while they are on-site to receive their first dose, an appointment will be made for the second.
But a viewer, who didn't want to be interviewed on-camera, had issues last week when he went to the Bowmansville Fire Station to get his first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
He said, "The vaccination site had QR codes and websites that vaccine recipients were directed to go to and schedule the second vaccine appointment. Those sites were not working."
After making several calls, he says the state told him to schedule an appointment at UB. So, he got one for April 10, but that's almost three months after his first shot instead of the 28 days the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.
For answers we went to the Erie County Department of Health, because it held the clinic, and the New York State Department of Health, because it's in charge of distributing the vaccine to the county.
The state provided the same statement it gave 2 On Your Side earlier in the week about second dose appointments. A NYS DOH spokesperson said, "While they are on site to receive their first dose, an appointment will be made for the second. Individuals should schedule to return to their original vaccination site."
He also said, "According to the CDC, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended three-week or one-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine."
A spokesperson for Erie County echoed what the state said earlier this week, saying that you should get your second dose where you get your first, and you make that second appointment at your first appointment.
He also said, "At ECDOH Points of Distribution, signs with QR codes and URLs and "helpers" are available to assist with those appointments. If the NYS appointment website is unavailable, individuals are asked to take a photo of the QR code or given the URL to schedule their second dose at an ECDOH 2nd dose POD after they leave. This viewer should call the agency that provided the first dose and ask to schedule their second dose appointment."
So bottom line, this viewer needs to call the Erie County Department of Health to schedule an appointment so he doesn't have to wait until April.