Many people missing out on second COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

Registered Nurse Morgan James loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage on March 19, 2021. – Alaska became the first state in the country last week to open vaccination access to everyone over the age of 16 and has fully vaccinated 16 percent of the state’s population, the highest rate in the country. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — About 31-percent of Americans that have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine have not gotten their second dose. Some people who got one dose intentionally skipped the second dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight percent of Americans have skipped their second vaccination appointment.

Why is that?

The reasons vary. Some fear the possible flu-like side effects, others may think one shot is enough for protection, or the Johnson & Johnson pause concerned them.

“While we can be scared of the fact that those occurrences happened, it should give us some solace, it should give us some comfort that they are watching our vaccinations that closely, that they can detect six very rare side effects in seven million people,” Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Executive Director, Dr. Sherri Young, said.

In West Virginia, health officials say it’s hard to measure whether people are intentionally missing their second appointment.

“Some people may be between a first and second shot, it may not be time for their second shot yet,” Dr. Young said.

Seven percent of West Virginians have received the first dose but still need to get their second dose.

“I feel everybody should get vaccinated,” said one Kanawha County resident who has been fully vaccinated. “It’s very important because I’ve had family members who have actually died from the virus.”

And yet just 32-percent of the state’s population — nearly 580,000 — have been fully-vaccinated.

“Unfortunately I had polio when I was a youngster and the vaccination didn’t come out until after I got out of the hospital and so I am a full supporter of the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine. And I have no sympathy for those folks who do not get vaccinated,” said another Kanawha County resident.

State health officials say they have enough of all three vaccines that if you prefer one over the other, you can request the one of your choice.

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