Need to be fully vaccinated by the holidays? Here’s when to start

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Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine wait to be administered to the students and faculty of UTPB during a vaccination clinic held in partnership with Midland Memorial Hospital, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

(KFDX/KJTL) — So, you’re realizing how quickly the holidays are approaching, and it just hit you that you need to be fully vaccinated before the most wonderful time of the year is here.

Don’t worry, you still have time. But it’s quickly running out.

According to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

For recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their one shot.

Ahead of traveling and family gatherings, those who have yet to do so may want to consider being fully vaccinated before spending time with friends and relatives, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

To ensure you’re fully vaccinated in time for the holidays, here’s when you should start your COVID-19 vaccine series:

Moderna

The Moderna vaccine requires an initial injection followed up by a second round of the vaccine four weeks later.

Those who elect to receive the Moderna two-dose vaccine will need to ensure they’ve received their second and final dose by Dec. 10 to be considered fully vaccinated by Christmas Eve. In order to make that happen, the initial dose of the vaccine will need to be administered no later than Nov. 12.

Pfizer

The Pfizer vaccine is similar to the Moderna in that it requires two doses. However, Pfizer’s doses are closer together than Moderna’s. The vaccine is administered in two doses, with an initial dose followed by a second round of the vaccine three weeks later.

Those who elect to receive the Pfizer two-dose vaccine will also need to ensure they’ve received their second and final dose by Dec. 10 to be considered fully vaccinated by Christmas Eve. However, to do so, Pfizer recipients need to ensure their initial dose of the vaccine is administered no later than Nov. 19, one week later than Moderna recipients.

Johnson & Johnson

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less of a puzzle to solve. Individuals electing to receive the Johnson & Johnson single-round COVID-19 vaccine will need to ensure they receive their injection by Dec. 10 to be considered fully vaccinated by Dec. 24.

What About Thanksgiving?

Sadly, unvaccinated individuals who are hoping to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving are already too late.

A second dose of either vaccine would need to be administered by Nov. 11 to be considered fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving Day, but that would have required the initial injection to have occurred on or before Oct. 14 for Moderna recipients and Oct. 21 for Pfizer recipients.

Those who began a vaccine series on or before those two dates will be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving.

For Johnson & Johnson recipients, there’s still a chance, but there’s not much time.

Those receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will need to ensure their injection is administered no later than Nov. 11 to be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving Day.

Contact your local health authority to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

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