Health officials expressed concern over the weekend that people aren’t getting their second COVID-19 vaccine doses, which puts immunity at risk.
Are people skipping second COVID-19 vaccine doses?
The New York Times reports that close to 5 million Americans have missed the second shot of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The good news is that the majority of Americans are still getting the second dose, though, according to ABC News.
- The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine does provide some immunity from COVID-19. But just one shot — after some time — “triggers a weaker immune response and may leave recipients more susceptible to dangerous virus variants,” according to The New York Times.
- “Even as the country wrestles with the problem of millions of people who are wary about getting vaccinated at all, local health authorities are confronting an emerging challenge of ensuring that those who do get inoculated are doing so fully,” per The New York Times.
Why it matters now
Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told the “Today Show” that people not returning to get their second dose shows “the importance of (Johnson & Johnson’s) one-shot vaccine.”
- Besser said the one-shot vaccine allows people to get vaccinated without the need to return for another shot, giving someone a lot of immunity after one shot.
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was recently paused by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration after reports of rare blood clots. Last Friday, the CDC and FDA approved the vaccine’s rollout again, allowing it to be distributed as early as Saturday, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
Besser said on the “Today Show” that COVID-19 vaccinations will happen more slowly now that the high demand has been reached.
- “We have to do everything we can to understand why different groups are hesitant,” he said on the “Today Show.”
- He added, “If we can stop transmission in communities, we’re much less likely to see new variants arise that could actually not be covered by the current vaccines.”