Why you shouldn’t skip the 2nd dose of a 2-shot COVID-19 vaccine

Here’s a reason not to skip the second dose of the two-dose coronavirus vaccines — a new study says that a single dose may not be enough to protect you from variants.

“There was a big differential between one-dose protection and two-dose protection that is much more disparate than we’ve seen with the typical COVID strains,” said Virginia vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula about a study in the New England Journal of Medicine from last week.

“You go from north of 80% effectiveness against these variants to more like 20% effectiveness with just one dose,” Avula said.

And he said variants are definitely here.

“The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that 66% of the new cases in the United States right now are the U.K. variant,” he said.

He said another 10% are the variant first identified in Brazil, and yet, another 3% are the variant first identified in South Africa.

Avula is troubled that 6.7% of Virginians who have gotten one dose of the vaccine have not received their second dose within the CDC’s recommended 42 days.

To that end, efforts are shifting to medical providers.

Previously, you had to go back to the location where you got your first shot to get the second. For some, that location was not easy to get to nor convenient. When there was a tight supply, those second doses were earmarked to the site where a first dose was administered.

Now that supplies are more readily available, health care providers are asked to encourage patients to come in and get that second shot.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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