Why are Millions of Americans Skipping Their Second COVID Shot?
Recent reports show that millions of Americans are skipping the second dose of their COVID vaccines. 8% of Americans, about 5 million people, who were scheduled for the second dose of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine have foregone the vaccination for various reasons including fear of side effects and difficulty scheduling appointments.
After the first dose of a vaccine, many people experienced flulike symptoms or other negative effects and thus chose to skip the second dose for fear of repeated side effects. Those who didn’t experience negative side effects after the first dose skipped the second one due to fear of enduring the common sickness that many others do. Aside from the fear of resulting illness, many inidividuals have rationalized not getting the second dose because they think one dose will protect them well enough from Coronavirus so the second shot is futile.
Reportedly, only getting a single shot of a two-dose vaccine has the potential to weaken one’s immune system. This is a major reason the number of people only getting their first shot is concerning.
Many COVID vaccine appointments around the U.S. have been cancelled because providers are running low on supplies due to excessive demand that production is unable to keep up with. At the same time, other locations which offer vaccines are cancelling vaccine orders because people in the region that don’t want to get a vaccine at all, and therefore need fewer vaccines than anticipated. For example, 3/4 of Kansas’ counties have cancelled shipments of the vaccines at least once this month alone because of an unanticipated lack of demand. A nurse from Kansas’ Decatur County, Stacey Hileman, said, ‘It is kind of stalling. Some people just don’t want it.” In this rural county, less than a third of its 2,900 residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
Some Walgreens locations have had significiant difficulty acquiring a timely order of vaccines and have ended up having to send patients elsewhere for their second dose, causing confusion as well as causing many people to give up on getting the second dose altogether.