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Asking the ‘right questions’ to avoid a vaccine mix-up

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 7:21 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As people across the country line up to be vaccinated, trusting medical professionals, it’s important to remember you are your own best advocate.

“Whether it’s in the vaccination process or overall in our health it pays to educate ourselves about what’s going,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the West Virginia coronavirus czar.

Marsh said advocating for your health can start with one question.

“When you come back for the second dose, you should ask the person vaccinating you, ‘I got the Pfizer vaccine the first time, is that the Pfizer vaccine?’ ” Marsh said.

Getting the answer could help you avoid an instance of a vaccine mix-up like the isolated incident that recently happened in West Virginia.

According to the West Virginia Department of Human Resources when a patient went to get their second round of the vaccine, they were given a different manufacturer than their first dose.

“We created the system that relies on color-coded labels that tells you whether you had a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine,” Marsh said. “For whatever reason, that card must have not been sufficient, because the person was inadvertently vaccinated with the alternative dose of the vaccine.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) stressed advocating for yourself also begins with choosing to not share your vaccination cards online.

“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine,” said Kim Thompson, a spokesperson for the BBB. “If that information ends up on a fake card that scammers sell to someone else, you don’t want that. Don’t give them an inch of your information.”

Another issue with sharing your vaccination card on social media is that it makes it easier for scammers to create imitation cards that they can sell, as some did in Great Britain, according to the BBB.

Instead of posting the vaccination card, you can share your vaccine sticker instead, the BBB suggests, and review your social media settings to make sure you know who can see your information.

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