Second COVID shot at different location than first? What you should know

Vaccinate PA

Getting the second shot of the COVID vaccine at a different location than your first can be challenging. For college students, that can mean getting their first shot near their campus, which may be out of the area or even out of state, and then figuring out how to get their second shot when they’re home for the summer.

A local woman reached out to abc27 about her daughter who attends college in Florida.

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Her daughter got her first shot in Florida but is having a tough time finding a place to get her second shot in Pennsylvania and didn’t even know if it was allowed to get the second shot in Pennsylvania if you got your first out of state.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health encourages that.

“We don’t want them to wait until they go home to get both shots, so as soon as they can get their first one, get it,” said Dr. Denise Johnson, Pennsylvania’s Physician General.

But some providers don’t provide the option to schedule just a second dose on their websites.

“There hadn’t really been a big need to just have second shot appointments, because people already had them, so that’s definitely good information for us to make sure it’s very clear,” said Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson says the state has told all providers to make second doses available to people who didn’t get their first shot in the same place.

Nicole Stickel attends Bloomsburg University. She’s choosing to get both of her shots at home, even though she has the option of getting her first shot near her college.

“I was afraid that if I got my first one at school, then I would have to get my second one right thereafter three weeks and I knew I would be at home in New Jersey and I didn’t think it would be convenient to drive from New Jersey to Bloomsburg,” said Stickel.

She said providers in Bloomsburg agreed.

“I think it was our CVS or Rite Aid, they recommended me just going home and getting it, because it would be more convenient and that it would probably be easier,” Stickel said.

Most Pennsylvania colleges are advising that students get their COVID shot as quickly as possible and not wait, which is in line with what the state Department of Health says.

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