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Doctors implore people not to skip their second COVID-19 vaccine shot

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Doctors are now imploring people not to skip their second shot after the CDC released data showing about eight percent of people nationwide have not returned for their second dose.

In Texas more than 570,000 people who received their first shot are reportedly 43 days or more past due for their second dose.

Health officials say the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are called two part vaccines for a reason. That is the way they were studied and the way they are meant to be administered.

People now opting out of the second one are affecting the way doctors expected the vaccine would help fight the virus.

Doctors say there is no one reason as to why people are not returning for the second dose.

“But a common theme is that if I got the vaccine and go ahead and get the first dose that the numbers that you might predict from that are pretty good and I am willing to live with pretty good even though it is not perfect cause at least I did something,” said Dr. Rodney Young M.D., regional chair of Family & Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Data shows the odds of being hospitalized or becoming seriously ill drops from about a 40 percent chance with one shot to a five to ten percent chance with the second shot.

In Potter and Randall counties, there are about 62,000 people who received both doses, and about 79,000 people who received just one dose.

Although, those in the group considered to have received just one dose, could still be within their three to four week window to get their second one.

And while some protection is better than none, doctors say this is also a time sensitive race against variants.

“The longer people wait, the more you delay, the more likelihood the virus will continue to be able to spread from person to person through our communities,” said Dr. Young.

He adds opting out or delaying the second dose increases the chances of the virus mutating itself and finding ways around a fighting strategy which is vaccination.

“In Amarillo we have had within the past three weeks, all variants, which is interesting right, it is not a major hub like New York City perhaps or even Houston, but we do have all variants even in Amarillo, and so it is important that you get the maximum amount of protection that you can get,” said Dr. James William MS DO FACEP, clinical associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Northwest Texas Healthcare System.

But it may not be too late, data shows the second shot can be administered up to six weeks after the first shot.

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