‘We Don't Know What to Do': Some Texans Scramble to Find Second Dose

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It's been five weeks and counting since Cyndi Austin and her husband snapped a selfie on their way to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

But now 35 days later, they can't find a second dose.

The Austins and 500 people got their first dose at Carepath Home Health & Hospice in Arlington on December 30.

The provider now says they don't have second shots to give.

NBC 5 spoke to George Nwora, who identified himself as a nurse practitioner and CEO of Carepath.

NBC 5’s Katy Blakey spoke with Dr. David Winter of Scott & White Health to talk about the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get it.

He told NBC5 over the phone he has been unable to secure more vaccines from the state and fears a shipment of doses he used to vaccinate people in mid-January may have been intended as second doses for the first group.

"We keep hearing info from the state telling us to give it out, don't hold any vaccines," said Nwora.

Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?

County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.

You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:

Waitlist Links: Collin - Search Waitlist | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant

You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.

"Right now we don't know what we're going to do," Cyndi Austin said. "So we've been calling different places, Dallas County, Tarrant County, all the counties, Tom Thumb, Walgreen's."

Those providers won't schedule Cyndi for a second dose because state guidance says you must get your second dose where you receive your first.

The FDA recommends there be 21 days between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine and a 28-day interval for the Moderna vaccine.

Dr. David Winter with Baylor, Scott & White Health said while the recommended time frame is ideal it's okay if the second dose is delayed.

"This is a brand new virus, brand new to the human race, we're still learning about this," said Dr. Winter. "But right now clearly four weeks late, six weeks late, 12 weeks is probably okay."

"Right now there's a shortage of vaccines and distributions in this country. We can't get those second doses for some so just get it when you can get it," said Winter.

For Cyndi that means more time on the phone and online trying to find a provider willing to give her a shot and a further delay in feeling fully protected.

"After first [being] so excited that we got it early we thought we’d won the lottery, and now, so frustrating and so scary," said Austin.

The big county hubs tell NBC 5 they can not currently give out second doses to people who did not receive their first dose through the county.

NBC 5 reached out to the Texas State Department of Health Services for what to do if you find yourself in this position and are waiting to hear back.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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