January 4, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dear colleagues,   

We hope everyone had a restful and safe New Years as we all look forward to moving into 2021. 

Vaccinations continue today, January 4. The focus still remains on vaccinating individuals delivering direct patient care and all care team members and staff supporting them in person. We will keep everyone updated as more groups are added, and we will also inform you about the schedule for this week. 

As of yesterday, nearly 25,000 staff at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, and Columbia have been vaccinated. This includes nearly 9,000 individuals on the Columbia Campus who are working in patient care areas, with over 4,600 of them Columbia employees and students.    

Second dose vaccinations will begin this week. The second dose for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is due 21 days after the first dose, and the second dose for Moderna is due 28 days after the first. For those already vaccinated, second dose reminders will be sent via Connect. If you have not yet signed up or Connect, please do so, at: https://www.myconnectnyc.org/mychart/accesscheck.asp.

If you are scheduled to receive your second dose this week, it will be administered at the same location where you received your first dose. It is essential that people come in at the scheduled time for their second dose, as NYP is making staffing and vaccine supply decisions based on those appointments. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Even though you can find the latest FAQ documents on the CUIMC COVID Vaccine Information page we are also going to highlight key Questions of the Day to keep you informed. Some of the most common questions are about receipt of the second dose:    

After I receive the initial dose (of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine), do I need to come for the second dose on exactly day 21 or 28? Or could I receive the second dose any time after day 21 or 28? 

CDC recommends that people receive their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine 21 days after their first dose, and their second dose of the Moderna vaccine 28 days after their first dose, with a 4-day grace period. This is because these are the regimens that were studied in the clinical trials and for which we have data for efficacy and safety; it also allows for the maximum effectiveness to be obtained at the soonest time possible. However, if a person is unable to receive their second dose within the recommended interval, the second dose should be given as close as possible to the recommended interval. Further, there is NO maximal interval between the first and second dose for either vaccine.

Do I need to get both doses of the same vaccine?  

Yes, the vaccine you receive for the second dose must be the same as the first dose.  

Thank you!    

Magda Sobieszczyk, MD, MPH   
Chief of Infectious Diseases and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee    

Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH    
Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee