Does the COVID-19 vaccine still work if there is a longer time between dose 1 and dose 2? Can I get my 2nd dose earlier?

Question: 

Does the COVID-19 vaccine still work if there is a longer time between dose 1 and dose 2? Can I get my 2nd dose earlier?

Answer: 
  • The time between the two vaccine doses recommended by the manufacturer is 21 to 28 days. You should not get a second dose sooner than that.
  • There is good evidence that in the short term, one dose of the vaccine provides very high protection that lasts for weeks. A second dose ensures stronger and longer lasting protection.
  • In general, extending the time between first and second doses does not reduce vaccine protection over the long term and for most vaccines, a slightly longer interval is better.
  • The World Health Organization and the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) support up to 42 days between doses, and other jurisdictions are using a longer time between doses, up to 12 weeks. This allows a greater number of people to receive the important protection from a first dose of vaccine, given limited vaccine supply currently and high rates of COVID-19 transmission.
  • In B.C., while vaccine supplies are limited, the time between first and second dose will be extended so more people can receive their first dose, increasing the benefit of limited vaccine supplies.
  • Learn more about the evidence and the decision to defer the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in B.C.

Please note that the circumstances around COVID-19 vaccines in BC are changing regularly, so this information may change.
 

Date last updated: 
Thursday, Feb 11, 2021
Date last reviewed: 
Friday, Jan 29, 2021