If you receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 shots to get the most protection. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.

Timing of your second shot

The timing between your first and second shots depends on which vaccine you received.

  • If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first.
  • If you received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot 4 weeks (or 28 days) after your first.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 4-week interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose early. ​There is currently limited information on the effectiveness of receiving your second shot earlier than recommended or later than 6 weeks after the first shot.

However, if you do receive your second shot of COVID-19 vaccine earlier or later than recommended, you do not have to restart the vaccine series. This guidance might be updated as more information becomes available.

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Scheduling your second shot

If you need help scheduling your vaccination appointment for your second shot, contact the location that set up your first appointment. If you are having trouble or have questions about using a vaccination management or scheduling system, reach out to the organization that enrolled you in the system. This may be your state or local health department, employer, or vaccination provider.​

Vaccination card and your second shot

When you are fully vaccinated

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second shot in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-shot vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

You are not fully vaccinated if:

  • it has been less than 2 weeks since your 1-dose shot
  • it has been less than 2 weeks since your second shot of a 2-dose vaccine
  • you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine

After you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.

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