Canceled second dose appointments leave San Diegans worried

Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 06, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Anxiety looms around San Diegans unable to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Adding to the stress, Del Mar's Vaccination Super Station shut down Saturday and this week's wet weather could cause more delays.

Sandra Gustafson, 67, got her first Moderna shot from a local Vons on February third. She was due for her second shot last Wednesday.

"About a week ago I received a cancellation notice that there were no doses available at my pharmacy," she said.

Gustafson searched feverishly for another location to get her second dose to no avail.

"To be truthful with you I have not slept well for the past three or four nights. I wake up at three in the morning, I grind my teeth. I'm feeling awful because this is a very huge sense of frustration for me that I can't get my second dose," she said heartbroken.

Health experts hope to ease the stress, encouraging patients not to worry too much about getting your second shot on time.

"So there's two parts to this, one part is the public health part where we want to get as many shots as we can out of the freezers and into people's arms as we can so they're protected," Dr. Davey Smith, Chief of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego Health said.

The World Health Organization states Moderna's vaccine has 92% efficacy against COVID-19 two weeks after the first dose, which is why the state mandated all medical facilities use every dose as they get it and not reserve second doses for their patients.

Dr. Smith said the second part is some patient's immune systems respond better to a delayed second dose after the prescribed window.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting your second dose within 42 days after your first shot.

While Gustafson understands the science behind the decisions, she fears for grandparents, like herself, who can't rebook their appointments.

"Reservations should be kept if you are over 65 because many of us have underlying health issues and need to be protected," she said.

Dr. Smith said there should be more shipments of the vaccine coming this week and he hopes that eases some of the stress.

He said San Diego County is competing with the rest of the country to get their doses of vaccine, which is part of the supply issue.