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Health & Science
WKSU is looking for the answers to the questions you have about Ohio in a project we call "OH Really?" It's an initiative that makes you part of the news gathering process.

You May Need to Wait to Get Your Second COVID Vaccine Shot. OH Really?

Dr Rebecca Stone vaccine.png
Cleveland Clinic Akron General
What happens when a patient contracts COVID-19 in-between their two vaccine shots?

More and more Northeast Ohioans are getting vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19. Since it requires two doses -- weeks apart -- it raised a question for one listener, who put it to our OH Really? team.

Katherine from North Canton received her first vaccine dose several weeks ago. She asks, “if you contract the COVID virus in between doses, what’s the protocol? I had traveled and could have potentially contracted the virus or a variant of the virus.”

She began showing symptoms last week after visiting family and is concerned that a second dose could prove troublesome. I asked Dr. Maureen Ahmann for her advice. She’s the medical director for Stark County Health Department. She says Katherine should reschedule her second shot until after the 10-day isolation period is over.

“We save some spots for elderly people and for specific situations like this. So there won’t be a problem getting back in again," Dr. Ahmann said.

Ahmann says this is not a common situation right now, but they are seeing increased case counts for the COVID-19 variants, which are rapidly spreading in Michigan.

“The more shots-in-arms that we get, if we don't have the virus, the virus can't mutate. So then we won't have the variants. So, we have to get ahead of it, and in Michigan -- they haven't.”

And she adds that staying vigilant is the only way to beat COVID.

“We keep talking about the analogy of the marathon: we're almost to the finish line. Don't just lay down. Let's finish that last sprint.”

Ahmann says they’ve also seen case counts increase just after Easter and as people have returned from spring break. She says even after people are vaccinated, they should still wear masks and observe social distancing precautions.