SAN ANTONIO — Coronavirus vaccination numbers have come down considerably across the country. We know many have decided not to get the vaccine at all, but there is a new problem emerging where those who got the first dose of a vaccine are skipping the second one.
Two studies conducted by Oxford University found that protection from getting only one dose of a two dose vaccine only lasts about ten weeks. And with close to one out of every ten people not going back for their second dose, and many not getting vaccinated at all, that doesn't bode well for this pandemic.
"We need as many people to get vaccinated as possible. Right, to prevent these endemic kind of waves where we see more people know the surge and it comes down a little bit then another surge," said Dr. Jason Bowling, an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at UT Health San Antonio.
And getting that second dose after the first is imperative.
"There's data now showing that it doesn't last as long," Dr. Bowling said. "You want the protection to last as long as possible. The other factor is that with these variants that are starting to circulate, and we're learning more about, some of them can decrease how effective the vaccine works."
A Kaiser Family Foundation report found that as of last week close to 42 percent of Americans have had at least one dose of a vaccine, and that only 35 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, or about 27 percent of the population. And with 20 percent of the U.S. considered 'vaccine hesitant' warned the U.S. is nearing a tipping point.
"Do yourself a favor, get the full protection right. To protect yourself and your family," Dr. Bowling said.
Invisibly used Realtime Research to poll 1258 people. They found parents ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to get their kids vaccinated, and found a whopping 47 percent said they would not get their kids a COVID vaccine.
"One of the issues is that a lot of the vaccines to date so far has been in these large mass vaccine hubs. But if we can transition this to physician offices, that might help so that people can talk to their provider about it," Dr. Bowling added.
He also said that for those who are fully vaccinated the jury is still out on when it will be time for a booster. But clinical trials have shown the vaccine is still about 90 percent effective after six months.