5 Million Americans Have Skipped Their 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose. Doctors Say That's A Bad Idea

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  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    After getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, some people just aren't coming back -- about 5 million, to be exact, according to the latest data from the CDC. That's about 8 percent of vaccinated adults.

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    Right now, 23 percent of Georgians are fully-vaccinated and 34 percent have gotten one dose.

    "It's not ideal," says Dr. Jennifer Hoffman with Coliseum Medical Centers.

    She says people may have missed their second appointment for any number of reasons.

    "I'm not sure if that's because they had side effects from the first dose and decided they didn't want the second one after all, if it's that they forget, something comes up in their life, they missed the appointment and they plan to come back later."

    Hoffman and Dr. Dan Stewart with Houston Healthcare say you've got to come back.

    "It means that you probably take the risk of not being immune or that your immunity will not last as long," he says. "They allow your immune system to respond over a much longer period of time."

    Hoffman says we don't know how well getting just one dose of a two dose series works.

    "The first dose provides 80 percent protection from infection. The second dose is what takes you up to that 95 percent. The question that we really don't know the answer to is, 'How long does protection last after just one dose?'"

    Stewart says overall, the seemingly low demand of getting either dose worries him.

    "The numbers are slowing down a bit, indicating that some of the younger population -- and I mean that is less than 60 -- are not getting vaccinated, and I think that is a mistake," he says.

    Stewart says they've seen a decline in appointments at Houston Healthcare.

    "We're probably doing around 100 per day or so right now, whereas we'd been up to 300 or 250 a day, so the numbers have really dropped."

    Another example of shrinking demand for the vaccine in Georgia, all eight of the state-run mass vaccination sites, including the one at the Macon Farmer's Market, will close May 21st.

    Hoffman says she worries with the rate we're moving in Georgia and nationwide, we may not get to herd immunity.

    That happens when the spread of the disease slows down because so many people are immune or vaccinated.

    However, she says it is not too late.

    "I encourage everyone out there who is still hemming and hawing to go ahead and get vaccinated, and if you did miss your second dose, it's probably not too late. Go back and get it. Better late than never."

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