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Get That Second Shot

Protect yourself, keep your community safe

A Veteran gets his second COVID-19 vaccineSome of the COVID-19 vaccines are two-shot series and the second shot is important. Health departments are reporting that some people are skipping their second COVID-19 shot. Without that second shot, you’re not fully protected against the virus and are more vulnerable to new variants. Getting both shots, and encouraging your friends and family to as well, are two ways you can protect your family and your community.

Why a second shot?

If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you’re not fully protected until two weeks after your second dose. (The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine requires only a single dose.) The vaccines we have now defend us well against severe illness from a new version of the COVID-19 virus called the Delta variant. This variant spreads more easily and is harder for your unvaccinated immune system to fight. If you only got your first shot, you’re not fully protected against the Delta variant.

Viruses like COVID-19 will continue to mutate and spread as long as they can. The best way to stop this spread is getting vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people protect themselves and their communities.

Missed the second shot?

Get your second vaccine as close to the suggested guideline as possible. The second Pfizer dose should be given after 3 weeks. The second Moderna shot should be given after 4 weeks. If you are late for your second dose, get the second shot as soon as possible. It is still of great benefit and can help to protect you against new COVID-19 variants.

How to get the second dose

It’s easier than ever to get a COVID-19 vaccine, especially for Veterans, spouses, and caregivers. All VA facilities and clinics with vaccines are accepting walk-ins. You can:

  • Call your local facility for COVID-19 walk-in hours or to schedule an appointment.

  • Call 1-800-698-2411 or check your local facility’s walk-in schedule.

  • Choose to get your second dose through your employer, pharmacy, or health care provider.

If you get your second COVID-19 vaccine outside of VA, make sure it’s in your VA health record. Tell your VA health care team to update your medical records by calling your doctor, using Secure Messaging, or bringing your vaccination card to your next appointment.

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