Concerns about folks no-showing their second COVID vaccine appointment

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health leaders are concerned a number of the people in the U.S. aren’t showing up for their second shots of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine.

The CDC is reporting 8% of the country, or about 5 million people, hasn’t shown up for their second dose. The reasons vary, but doctors believe this is another hurdle to beat back the pandemic.

Health providers around the country and here in Alabama are reporting the demand for vaccinations are leveling off. News from the CDC that some are skipping their seconds shots is catching some health leaders by surprise.

“The main reason seems to be concern about the side effects of the second dose and there is no question the second dose does have flu-like symptom because the immune system is primed,” said Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association.

Doctors said it could come down to finding time or transportation for a second dose. There could be those who have more questions about vaccines after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was pulled because a limited number of women developed blood clots.

“I’m not terribly concerned about that. We still encourage everyone to get that second dose. If you started off with Pfizer or Moderna, you want to get that second dose to lock in that strong immune system protection,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported the state’s second dose rate is more than 90%. While some may feel more comfortable with just one shot, doctors say you need that second dose to be totally effective.

“You want to have no more than six weeks is between doses. The main reason is we don’t know hove effective your protection is going to be outside of that,” Willeford said.

If you fail to get that second dose, it could eventually open you up for possible exposure to getting COVID and spreading it.

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