GALVESTON

You’re almost at the finish line. Three or four weeks since getting your first COVID-19 vaccination, you’re waiting for the second dose and on being counted among the fully vaccinated.

You might be forgiven for getting a little edgy, worrying, wondering whether it will go down as expected.

Tens of thousands of Galveston County residents are nearing the appointed time of second vaccination doses, and with those appointments come questions about the when and the where and how to be sure you don’t miss your chance to get it over with.

Much depends on which organization administered the first dose, local health officials said. That decides the when and, sometimes the where, of your second dose.

The past week marked a new turning point in the county’s vaccination programs.

In early March, the number of vaccine does being sent to the county each week nearly doubled. County facilities received about 7,000 first doses of vaccines the week of March 1. The week of March 8, they received about 14,000 doses.

Most of those doses have been vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer- BioNTech, which require two doses for complete inoculation.

The county also is arriving at the point where about 14,000 people a week will receive their second and final shot. And county officials are preparing for questions and problems.

There are slightly different methods for delivering those second shots, officials with Galveston County Health District and the University of Texas Medical Branch said Tuesday.

People who received shots through the health district — which has mostly distributed Moderna’s vaccine — should expect an email from Luminare, the company hired to help schedule vaccinations, officials said. That message invites them to schedule a time for their appointment, health district spokeswoman Ashley Tompkins said.

Health district appointments for a second dose might not be in the same place where people received their first doses, Tompkins said.

For instance, on Wednesday the health district is distributing second doses of Moderna vaccines at the Galveston County Health District Building in Texas City instead of at Walter Hall Park in League City.

The health district sent social media messages and personal emails and text messages notifying people about the change of location, Tompkins said.

People who received their first dose through the University of Texas Medical Branch won’t receive an email reminding them of a second appointment, medical branch spokesman Christopher Smith Gonzalez said.

Instead, people should look at their vaccination cards and return to the place where they received their first dose, at the same time of day they received their first dose, Smith Gonzalez said.

People who received a first dose through the medical branch were automatically scheduled for a second dose, officials said. They don’t need to worry about confirming an appointment time.

There are back-up plans for people who miss their original date for a second dose, officials said.

People who need to reschedule their second dose appointment through the medical branch can email c19vacsch@utmb.edu, Smith Gonzalez said.

People who run into scheduling errors through the health district can contact its phone bank at 409-938-7221.

If you’re not sure which provider gave you a vaccine, it’s easy to figure out. The name of your vaccine provider is printed on the right side of your vaccination card.

People who received vaccines from other providers should contact those providers directly for details about second dose appointments.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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