The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that while a vast majority of Americans are getting their second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, roughly eight percent have not.
While it is good news that 92% of Americans are ensuring they are fully vaccinated, that eight percent represents around five million people. That makes it more challenging to reach herd immunity, which requires between 70-80% of the population to either be vaccinated or have natural immunity from a previous infection. Only getting a single shot also leaves people at risk of getting infected by one of the coronavirus variants.
According to the New York Times, the reasons why people don't get the second shot varies. In some cases, people were wary of the side effects, while others mistakenly believe they are fully vaccinated after one dose. In other instances, there have been logistical problems where a second dose of the vaccine is not available. Local health officials are doing their best to reschedule those appointments or find alternative sites with the correct vaccines, but that isn't always feasible for people who use public transition or have busy work schedules.
Authorities said it is crucial to get the second dose, adding that it is okay if you missed your initial appointment. They said that the second shot will still be effective even if you get it several weeks later.
"It's all about targeted education efforts, really doubling down and educating people on why that second shot is so important," Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital, told ABC News.
"It is crucial that everyone gets their second shot to fully protect themselves, especially from the new variants."
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