How Long Between Pfizer Vaccines (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 21 Days Apart

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health advancements of all time, resulting in the control, elimination, or near-elimination of numerous infectious diseases that were once pervasive and often fatal. Pfizer has a rich history in vaccine research and development. Over the years, we’ve played a pivotal role in eliminating or nearly eliminating deadly infectious diseases like smallpox and polio globally.

Today, more people are benefiting from safe and efficacious vaccines to prevent infectious diseases than ever before, and vaccines provide essential health benefits at all ages, from maternal and infant populations to seniors. However, the work is not done given the many infectious diseases remaining with a high unmet medical need and a growing list of vaccine-preventable diseases.

How Long Between Pfizer Vaccines?

Persons age 12 years and older should receive 2 doses at least 21 days apart. Second doses should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. Perform hand hygiene before vaccine preparation, between patients, when changing gloves (if worn), and any time hands become soiled.

Remove the vaccine from the freezer or refrigerator. Allow vaccine to come to room temperature. Vials can be held at room temperature for up to 2 hours before mixing. After 2 hours, return unmixed vials to the refrigerator.

Before mixing, check the expiration dates of the vaccine and diluent. Never use expired vaccine or diluent. With the vaccine at room temperature, gently invert the vial 10 times. If the vial is shaken, contact the manufacturer. The vaccine is white to off-white in color and may contain opaque particles. Do not use if the liquid is discolored.

Using a new, sterile alcohol prep pad for each vial, wipe off the stoppers of the diluent and vaccine vials. Inject 1.8 mL 0.9% sodium chloride (normal saline, preservative-free) diluent into the vaccine vial. Using the mixing syringe, remove 1.8 mL of air from the vaccine vial to equalize the pressure in the vaccine vial.

Gently invert the vial containing the vaccine and diluent 10 times. The vaccine will be off-white in color. Do not use if discolored or contains particulate matter. If the vial is shaken, contact the manufacturer. Minimize exposure to room light, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. Choose the correct equipment, including the correct needle size.

Pfizer21 days apart
Covaccine58 days apart

Why To Wait So Long Between Pfizer Vaccines?

If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, you may schedule the second dose up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose; there is limited efficacy data beyond this window, but a dose after this time does not need to be repeated. Doses inadvertently given less than 21 days apart do not need to be repeated.

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Both doses should be Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Every effort should be made to determine which vaccine product was received as the first dose. If the amount of vaccine remaining in the vial cannot provide a full 0.3mL dose discard the vial and contents. Do not combine vaccines from multiple vials to obtain a dose.

Remove any significant air bubbles with the needle still in the vial to avoid loss of vaccine. Use the same needle† to withdraw and administer the vaccine, unless contaminated or damaged.

It is not necessary to change needles between drawing a vaccine from a vial and injecting it into a recipient unless the needle has been damaged or contaminated. How to administer the Vaccine. Bringing the dose of vaccine from the designated preparation area immediately to the patient treatment area for administration.

Ensure staff has the correct PPE before administering vaccines and implement policies for the use of face coverings for vaccine recipients (if tolerated). Administer the vaccine immediately by intramuscular (IM) injection in the deltoid muscle.

Low dead-volume syringes/needles can be used to extract 6 doses from a vial. If all low dead-volume syringes are not available use a combination of low dead-volume syringes and non-low dead-volume syringes. Cleanse the stopper on the vial of mixed vaccine with a new, sterile alcohol prep pad. Withdraw 0.3 mL of mixed vaccine into the syringe. Ensure the prepared syringe is not cold to the touch.


In exceptional situations, if the vaccine product given as the first dose cannot be determined or is no longer available, any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered at least 28 days after the first dose. Moderately to severely immunocompromised people: Consider an additional dose at least 28 days after the initial 2-dose primary series.

COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be administered on the same day, as well as within 14 days of each other. When deciding if to administer COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines, providers should consider whether the patient is behind or at risk of becoming behind on recommended vaccines, their risk of vaccine-preventable diseases (e.g., during an outbreak), and the reactogenicity profile of the vaccines.


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