Icy roads delay Pfizer second dose vaccinations at Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center

Photo caption: Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center patients, age 30 and older, wait to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at a Saturday event held at the Osage Nation Civic Center. OSAGE NEWS

For those Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center patients scheduled to receive their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week, they will have to wait a little bit longer.

Due to the icy road conditions in Osage County, the WZZHC’s second Pfizer doses are sitting at the Pawnee Indian Health Service awaiting transport.

But not to worry, said Dr. Ron Shaw, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of the WZZHC, there should be no adverse effects for those patients delayed in receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine outside the 21-day window.

“The second dose may be given from four days early to three weeks after the 21st day for the Pfizer vaccine. The best data for efficacy is for 21 days,” he said. “We have our second doses of Pfizer available for pick up at Pawnee IHS but poor driving conditions have hampered pick up and transport. I expect we will pick up by tomorrow close of business but (the vaccine) will not be available to administer until Friday and next week.”

Shaw said about 200 patients would not receive their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine this week. However, the WZZHC received 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week that are primary doses only, he said.

According to the CDC, both COVID-19 vaccines need two shots to get the most protection. The timing between the first and second shot depends on which vaccine the patient receives. The second shot should be received: 

-       For the Pfizer-BioNTech, three weeks (21 days) after the first shot,

-       For the Moderna, one month (28 days) after the first shot.

The CDC recommends patients should get their 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. Patients should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

On Saturday, the WZZHC hosted its second vaccination event for patients age 30 and older at the Osage Nation Civic Center and inoculated 230 patients.

So far, the WZZHC has administered the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 312 patients, Shaw said. He said 1,000 WZZHC patients have received the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Follow the “Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center” on Facebook for updates on the COVID-19 vaccinations and other clinic services and information for patients.

Also, the WZZHC COVID-19 vaccination hotline can be reached at (918) 287-0076.