DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The CDC reports millions of Americans have missed their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Local health officials say it’s a concerning trend.
According to the CDC, nearly 8% of Americans who got their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine didn’t go back for their second.
“We have seen an uptick in the amount of no-shows for those second dose appointments, not as high as what the CDC is showing, our rate’s a little bit lower, but it’s still there,” Premier Health Regional Medical Director Dr. Joseph Allen said.
Allen said factors like concerns after the Johnson & Johnson pause and a fear of side effects could be contributing to the number of skipped appointments.
“It’s your immune system ramping up, to some extent, you kind of want that response of that fever, chills, for 12 hours or so,” Allen said.
According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 4.6 million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
But, Ohio Department of Health says around 2% have missed the six week window for their second dose.
Public Information Supervisor with Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County Dan Suffoletto said they do send out reminders and post their vaccine availability online to make sure as few people miss their second dose as possible.
“You do have up to six weeks to get that second dose, so there’s quite the wide range of time period there,” Suffoletto said. “People’s schedules change in that time period so we want to make sure they have access to the information to see where they can go to get that second dose.”
PHDMC does not have data on missed second appointments.
Allen said even if someone missed the six week window, a second dose would likely still offer better protection than just one dose of the vaccine.
Allen said the second dose is the key to better immunity and lifted restrictions.
“If you want to get rid of the masks, the best thing is to get out and get immunized,” Allen said. “The more people that are immunized. the less likely we are to have cases, the less likely we’ll be stuck with these masks for an extended period of time.”
Suffoletto said PHDMC is resuming the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for their clinic Wednesday and will be an option for anyone who prefers a single-dose shot.