Around 5 million Americans, or 8% of those who had a first COVID-19 dose, missed their second dose. This is according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Data also shows the numbers are getting higher. Also, this is double the rate among people who took the vaccine during the first several weeks.
Millions Not Getting The Second Dose
Even prior to the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the United States is already dealing with part of the population that remains against vaccines.
Now, the country is grappling with a number of Americans who have yet to show up for the second dose. According to medical officials, getting the second dose is critical in securing complete protection against coronavirus.
Reasons for not getting the second dose came out during interviews. Some said they feared the side effects, which included flu-like symptoms. Others insisted they already have sufficient protection in a single shot.
Supplies Are Out of Stock
While experts expected these reasons, a third reason is causing new concern. A number of vaccine providers started canceling appointments for a 2nd dose because the right brand is out of stock.
For example, Walgreens, one of the government’s vaccines providers, had to send some patients to other pharmacies. They referred those who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines as the first dose to stores that carried that brand.
Several Walgreens customers said they had to scramble and seek help from pharmacy staff to locate the outlet with the correct brand. Others gave up upon discovering the store doesn’t have their brand.
Already Warned About This
Earlier, public health experts warned about the challenge of asking people to return for a 2nd-dose after three or four weeks.
As such, it’s no surprise that as vaccination became more widespread, those who chose to skip the second dose went up as well. Meanwhile, state officials are scrambling to keep the numbers of skipped second doses from further climbing up.
In Arkansas and Illinois, health officials assigned teams to call, text, or send letters to people to remind them to get their second shots.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania officials are running after college students to get their second shots before they leave campus for the summer. In addition, South Carolina allocated several thousand doses specifically for people who are overdue for their second shot.
What Happens If You Don’t Get The Second Shot?
Health officials say that based on trial and real-world immunization campaign results in points to risk when people miss the 2nd shot.
Compared to the full two doses, a single dose will only trigger a weaker immune response. Also, it may and may leave patients more susceptible to dangerous virus variants. Even as a single dose can give partial protection against COVID-19, it remains unclear how long protections last.
Among the vaccines authorized for use, only Johnson & Johnson carries a single-dose version. However, issues of blood clots occurring in some female patients put the deployment of J&J vaccines on hold.
While the federal government already recommended resuming the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, they expect demand to remain low. The combination of the safety scare and ongoing production problems will likely mean fewer takers.
Watch the CNBC News reporting that millions of Americans are missing their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines:
Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or did you miss your second dose? In case you missed it, did you do it intentionally or it just happened?
Let us know what you think about getting a second shot. Share your comments in the comment section below.