LUBBOCK,TX—The Health Department is wrapping up its COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week. Health experts say it’s very important to complete your vaccinations, but the Centers for Disease Control report that about 8% of Americans aren’t going back for a second dose. Lubbock is seeing that same problem.
“Mainly what I hear from patients is that they just didn’t feel great and they don’t want to feel that way and so they don’t want to take the second dose. That’s probably not a great reason not to get the second dose,” said Chief Medical Officer at UMC, Dr. Mike Ragain.
Currently over 7,000 people in Lubbock are due for their second dose, according to the City of Lubbock Health Department.
They expect some of those folks to get the second dose in the coming weeks but know it’s possible not all of them will. But just one dose can still leave you vulnerable to COVID-19.
“We know the first dose starts to become effective around the time people are supposed to get their second dose, but you get nowhere near the protection you get with that second dose,” said Regional Chief Medical Officer at Covenant Health, Dr. Craig Rhyne.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are over 90% effective against the virus with both doses. However, just one dose could lower that effectiveness closer to 50% or 60%. That effectiveness is still lower than that of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. But skipping a dose doesn’t just hurt your immunity.
“Missing the second dose of those vaccines impacts your personal immunity as well as herd immunity. And the higher the efficacy rate the quicker we reach that. And as you get your second dose your efficacy rate goes way up so it’s a big step forward toward herd immunity to get the second dose,” Dr. Ragain said.
Doctors say now is not the time to slack on preventing COVID-19.
“If your goal is to be protected from COVID you should definitely get the second dose,” said Dr. Ragain.