Second vaccine dose dates may change for some El Paso residents

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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the City of El Paso is not putting second shots on hold and that vaccination cards are still valid.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Thousands of El Pasoans expecting to receive their second coronavirus vaccine doses may have a new second vaccination date.

“Initially, we were giving vaccination cards with anticipated second dose dates,” said El Paso Fire Department Chief Mario D’Agostino.

“We will not be scheduling (appointments) until we receive the second doses from the state,” D’Agostino said, adding the city would be reaching out to people via email, text or phone call to set up their second appointments.

Health officials have stressed that going beyond the suggested 21-day window for a second vaccine shot should not hurt effectiveness.

Just a few weeks ago, El Paso health officials said the second doses were a sure thing.

“The federal government and the state guarantee the second dose,” Public Health Director Angela Mora told the El Paso City Council on January 5.

Those second shots remain guaranteed, according to federal officials. But what is the hold-up?

As you have probably guessed, it’s an issue of supply.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported the Trump administration’s stockpile of second doses turned out to be nonexistent, according to state and federal authorities.

As of Thursday, roughly 17,000 people were listed as fully vaccinated with both doses in El Paso County, according to state data.

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