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COVID-19 vaccine second doses are important

For COVID-19 vaccines that need two doses, it is important for people to receive both doses, and that both doses are the same vaccine product. Providers need to make every effort to keep the second doses within the recommended interval.

  • We expect providers to schedule second doses for patients receiving the first dose.

  • Whenever possible, providers should accommodate giving a patient their second dose of vaccine, even if they did not receive their first dose from you.

Communicating the importance of being completely vaccinated

There are several reasons someone might not be getting their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. They may be hesitant about getting another shot, concerned of side effects, thinking they don’t need two doses, or they might forget.

We have information on why the second dose is important at About COVID-19 Vaccine in the “Getting Vaccinated” section. Share this information with people who are hesitant or want more information on second doses:

  • It is very important that someone gets both vaccine doses, the same product for each dose, and that the doses are given at the correct interval.

  • The vaccine works best after two doses.

  • If someone only gets one dose, they may not be as well protected against COVID-19.

  • The second dose boosts your immunity to COVID-19 and will help even if it is a longer time between shots.

  • It is best if you can get your second dose within six weeks from your first dose, but even if it is longer than that, you do not need to start over.

Thank you for your help in spreading our messages!

Encourage people to set up their appointment for the second dose before they leave. Have a system to track people who are ready for second doses who have not returned; continue to reach out to them! If someone declines the second dose, you may document that in your medical record, but continue to encourage them to complete the series.

Client follow-up efforts

MDH is working with providers on plans for following up with clients who are overdue for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It is important for providers to maintain lists of clients who have not received a second dose and conduct outreach to those clients. Please contact the MIIC help desk with any questions about this work or if you would like to request a list of clients who missed a second dose.

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