A number of US states have recently warned that there is a shortage of people willing to be vaccinated against Covid. New reports suggest that a fairly large proportion of Americans who have received their first dose of a vaccine do not want – or think it is not necessary – to take a second. The reasons include fear of side effects and the belief that a dose provides sufficient protection against Covid. the New York Times has history.
Millions of Americans are not getting the second doses of their Covid vaccines and their ranks keep growing.
More than five million people, or nearly 8% of those who received a first injection of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, have missed their second dose, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is more than double the rate among people who were vaccinated in the first few weeks of the national immunization campaign.
Even as the country grapples with the problem of millions of people who are hesitant at all to get vaccinated, local health authorities face an emerging challenge: ensuring that those who get vaccinated do so fully.
The reasons vary why people miss their second shot. In interviews, some expressed concern about side effects, which can include flu-like symptoms. Others said they felt sufficiently protected all at once.
These attitudes were expected, but another obstacle was surprisingly widespread. A number of vaccine suppliers canceled appointments for the second dose because they were out of stock or did not have the correct brand in stock.
Walgreens, one of the largest vaccine suppliers, sent people who received a first injection of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to get their second doses from pharmacies that only had the other vaccine on hand.
Several Walgreens customers said in interviews that they made an effort, in some cases with the help of pharmacy staff, to find a place to get the correct second dose. Others, presumably, have simply given up.
Many states predicted that vaccine hesitancy rates would increase as deployment progressed and are now implementing a number of programs to try to ensure uptake remains high.
In Arkansas and Illinois, health officials have ordered teams to call, text or send letters to people reminding them to get the shot. In Pennsylvania, authorities are trying to ensure that students can get their second injection after leaving campus for the summer. South Carolina has allocated several thousand doses specifically to people late for their second injection.
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