DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - As a dentist, Dr. Amanda Arriaran gets about as close to the potential sources of the COVID-19 virus as any health care professional on the frontline of this coronavirus pandemic--which is why the young health care provider made a point to get vaccinated.
"I was one of the first ones to sign up when I got that email, I jumped up on it right away," said the dentist who moved from a Brooklyn hospital to Family Dentistry of Stonecrest in 2020.
After contracting COVID-19 in December, she said she didn't want to take any chances with her health or that of her patients.
"It's important for me to make sure, even having had COVID, that I do get the vaccine to its fullest extent as soon as possible. Thankfully for me, it was a very mild case, but it did take me out of work for a little bit which was really frustrating," said Dr. Arriaran.
But far more frustrating was the trouble she's had scheduling a second dose of the vaccine through the DeKalb County Health Department--where she received her first dose at Stonecrest's immunization site in January. As a result of supply, demand, and delays in shipments following a winter storm that gripped nearly half the country, finding an alternate vaccine site has been tricky.
"Friday was my day off and I was driving around to a lot of different centers because I was due for the Moderna and really no one had that," she said.
Dr. Arriaran said DeKalb Health Department officials told her last week she may have to retake the first dose since it's been more than six weeks since she received it. But she's hopeful Wednesday's announcement from that same department about the arrival of more Moderna doses means she can avoid starting over from scratch.
"There's just not a lot of research to know if we should even be doing that so it's been a little bit of a struggle for sure. At this point, at least to me, it's not optional. I really want to make sure I follow through with what's recommended and protect not only myself but the patient population," said Dr. Arriaran.
According to the DeKalb Health Department, eligible vaccine candidates who had appointments that were canceled can call 404-294-3700 and press 1 to learn how to reschedule if they haven't already been contacted by phone or email. Eligible vaccine candidates in Georgia who still haven't received their first vaccine dose can pre-register at myvaccinegeorgia.com.
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