A large percentage of people have been avoiding their second round of COVID-19 vaccinations. Here’s what experts are saying.
Whether accidentally or intentionally, a lot of people are missing out on their second COVID-19 shot.
Per the New York Times, about 5 million people have missed their second round of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 inoculations. Experts theorize this is due to people not being able to take the time off work, not being sufficiently internet-savvy, or believing there’s enough protection in that first shot. There’s also the belief that the second round of shots creates stronger reactions, causing people to be scared of getting their second round.
While 5 million people sounds like a lot, vaccines that require a booster shot have a larger degree of people missing out on their last round. “I thought that [CDC data] was pretty encouraging. While 8% is still millions of people, that still means that the vast majority of people are going back for their second shot, which is really good compared to a lot of other vaccines,” virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen told DW.
While it’s believed that the first round of shots creates virus protection by up to 80%, the consequences of not getting the second booster shot are unknown. Protection from the first shot could fade without the influence of the second.
Still, if you had your first round and haven’t received your booster after a month, you should try your best to get your second dose. (Technically, you have up to six week to get your follow-up shot.)
“It’s likely that getting a second shot, even at a later point in time, is still very beneficial,” Dr. Dan Barouch told ABC News. Despite not knowing the side effects of waiting longer to get your second shot, the majority of experts think that the second round will provide a decent response no matter how late the booster comes in.
One thing’s clear: The more people who wait for their second round of the COVID-19 vaccine, the more they’re exposing themselves and others to the virus.