Securing a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine is proving difficult for some seniors who got their first dose at Kroger.
Sandra Navara was initially excited about getting the vaccine last Friday, but her joy quickly turned to fear when the 65-year-old learned she couldn’t schedule an appointment for a second dose.
“I was shocked that they couldn’t get me another one,” Navara recalled. “They said they’re not sure if they’re getting more supply.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for maximum protection against the virus. Most providers automatically schedule a second appointment when they administer the first dose.
Navara said the nurse who inoculated her told her Kroger was only concerned with getting the initial shots into as many arms as possible.
“It’s really scary and frustrating at this point because it’s hard enough to even find a place to get a shot,” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who receive Pfizer’s vaccine should get the second dose three weeks later. The time between Moderna’s doses is 28 days.
“I have tried calling the health departments, gone to Northeast Georgia Health,” said Navara. “No one can give me a second shot unless I’ve gotten the first shot there. So, now I’m panicked as to how I’m going to get a second shot if Kroger won’t give it, I can’t get it anywhere else.”
Meredith Young ran into a similar problem when she took her 71-year-old mother to get vaccinated at Kroger. She said even more complicated is finding which provider is offering the right vaccine needed for the second dose.
“I think everyone’s doing the best they can,” Young said. “I just think there’s a lack of overall information out there about who has what and when. I wish it was a little more organized.”
Navara wasn’t as forgiving.
“To have Kroger come out and do something like this, I just don’t understand,” she said. “It’s just crazy to me. Kroger is making it difficult and it doesn’t need to be.”
Navara and Young said Kroger is supposed to send them an email two weeks before the second dose is needed but that the company couldn’t guarantee availability.
CBS46 reached out to Kroger for comment and a possible solution to ease concerns and received the following statement:
Kroger is working hard to help ensure Georgians have access to the COVID-19 Vaccine. Currently, we are offering the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine at all Kroger Pharmacies. We have administered approximately 8,500 vaccines to Georgians thus far.
Vaccinations are by appointment only and subject to availability. Those interested can schedule appointments online at Kroger.com/COVIDVaccine. After customers have received their first dose, they can go back online to schedule their second dose 28 days following their first appointment.
We are working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to help make sure the second doses of vaccines are available.