News Releases

News Releases

It Takes Two: You Need Two Shots of COVID-19 Vaccine to Get Maximum Protection

Public Health Officials: “Don’t leave your first shot appointment without knowing how and when to get your second shot.”

January 25, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.— It takes two shots of COVID-19 vaccine to get maximum protection against the disease, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reminded the public today. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 94 to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 but only after you receive both shots.

“It’s extremely important to remember that both vaccines that are currently available require two shots, and you need both to be protected against COVID-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “Don’t leave your first dose appointment without knowing how and when to get your second dose.” 

Reminders for getting your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Make an appointment with a vaccine provider to guarantee you’ll receive your shot.
  • You need to make two appointments, one for each shot.
  • You should make your appointment for your second shot at the same location where you receive your first one. 
  • Make your second appointment while you’re at your first appointment, no later. Don’t leave your first appointment without knowing how and when you’ll get your second shot.
  • Until more vaccine is available, some appointments may need to be rescheduled for a later date if a provider runs out of vaccine. Providers will contact people directly if they need to reschedule an appointment.
  • If you need to reschedule an appointment, remember to cancel your initial appointment.

“Vaccines are our light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Traxler said. “But until enough of us receive both doses of the vaccine, we must continue to wear our masks, stay physically distanced from others, limit contact with others outside our household, and stay home if we’re sick with any symptoms.”

If you’ve already received your first shot and don't have an appointment for your second shot, you can use the federal Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) to schedule an appointment or call the location where you received your first shot. 

To find a location near you that's accepting vaccine appointments, visit DHEC's locator map at You can also call DHEC’s Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 for help from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. 



COVID-19 Media Relations News Release Statewide