Health experts across the country warn against skipping second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - According to the latest COVID vaccination numbers in the Peach State, 32 percent of Georgians have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine with 20 percent being fully vaccinated.

Health experts across the country are encouraging Americans not to skip their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Georgia resident Tim Henry got his second COVID-19 vaccine dose Monday in Columbus.

“I felt like it was the right thing to do to return to some type of normalcy,” Henry said.

Health experts throughout the nation say more people are choosing to skip their second dose for reasons including the dreaded possible aches and pains or inconvenience of having to go back to get round two.

“I’ve heard stories from people who had no problem with the first dose. Second dose was they had to be out of work for a few days. I mean, it was really bad for them, so it’s going to be different for everybody,” said Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department.

The first dose helps prime your immune system and the second dose helps reinforce the immune system’s response.

“I have heard of a few instances where people are a little bit wary of getting their second dose because the first dose was so bad for them. With one dose, it’s about 80 percent effective, so if they did get the second dose, that would boost their immunity. However, if they don’t want to, you know that’s a personal choice that everybody makes,” Kirkland explained.

“Well, it’s definitely at their discretion, their comfort level. I, myself, was comfortable enough to go ahead and have the shot done and like I said, it was free. Just a little part of my day that I had to take and like I said, it was pretty seamless,” said Henry.

The minimum number of days to wait between doses is 21 or three weeks for Pfizer, and 28 or four weeks for Moderna. Kirkland says you can still get the second dose at least two weeks after the three or four-week timeframe.

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