4 News Now Q&A: What’s the harm in skipping the second dose of the COVID vaccine?

Your Questions Answered

Q: What’s the harm in skipping the second dose of the COVID vaccine?

A: As top health officials around the nation push more people to get vaccinated, there is growing concern that Americans are not getting their second dose. The CDC reports about 5 million people may have already missed the recommended time frame to receive their second shot.

In the Inland Northwest, health officials share the concern.

According to the Washington Department of Health, about 60,000 people in the state are getting a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine every day. But about 13 percent of people who have received one shot are overdue for their second by more than a week.

People do not come back for that second shot for many reasons, according to health experts. Some people had a strong reaction to the first dose and are hesitant to get the second. Others may feel one dose is good enough.

But according to the experts, skipping that second shot is just not worth it.

Dose Timeline

In a real world study of more than 400 adults 65 or older who got either the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccines, effectiveness in keeping people out of the hospital with COVID was 94 percent among adults who were fully vaccinated, and only 64 percent among adults who were partially vaccinated. Without that second dose, some people may be more susceptible to dangerous virus variants.

The study also confirmed people are not well protected from COVID unless they are at least two weeks out from their first dose.

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