Many Americans skipping second COVID shot, CDC reports

ATLANTA — The CDC is reporting troubling statistics when it comes to second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines.

They believe 8% of Americans who got their first dose have not or will not get their second shot.

A CDC report on vaccine completion status through April 9 showed that 92% of people who had one dose of an mRNA vaccine received their second shot during their scheduled windows. About 8% of patients -- roughly 5 million people -- may have missed their second dose, according to the report.

While no one may want to go through the hassle of making two appointments, it is still necessary, and every expert agrees that you must follow the pharmaceutical’s instructions. Except more than 5 million Americans have not.

”We’re out there trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that still is out there. And one of the real reasons why people have hesitancy is concern about the safety of the vaccine,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The percentage of people not getting their second dose more than doubled from 3.4%, the CDC reported from data gathered through mid-February. However, the agency said that jump was to be expected as eligibility and access increased.

Some patients say a second dose of the same brand was not available when they came back for their second shot. Others say the hassles of booking appointments was not worth it, or that they had negative side effects the first time and didn’t want to go through it again.

While there are lots of anecdotal reasons why people did not get a second dose, officials are encouraging Americans to follow the guidelines to get their second shot in the time frame that is recommended.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both need two shots in order for someone to be considered fully vaccinated. Getting one shot of either vaccine gives the patient 50 % to 60% protection from the coronavirus, and that jumps to over 94% with the second shot, according to the CDC.

For those who prefer one and done, Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot vaccine has been greenlighted again. It had been pulled for 11 days for further study after the CDC learned 15 women suffered a rare blood clot after their shot. Three of those women died.

Eight million Americans had opted for Johnson & Johnson. Officials have ruled it is safe to continue.

Patients who haven’t received their second shot during the typical three- or four-week wait still have time, according to the CDC. Even if it has been six weeks after the first dose, it will still count, according to the agency.

There are several CDC programs that remind patients of their second dose appointment, including V-Safe and VaxText.

Globally, India continues to be a hotbed of COVID spikes. Officials are calling it a tsunami of cases, with almost 1 million new patients in the last three days. The United Sates is now in a position to send supplies and resources.