MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Nearly 50,000 people in Stanislaus County have skipped their appointments for their second Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to health officials.
“We’re calling them, texting them or emailing them, reminding them they have missed their dose, so they can come and get their vaccine,” said Stanislaus County Public Health spokeswoman Kamlesh Kaur.
“We would like to remind community members who have just gotten their first dose that it is important to complete their series by getting their second dose so they can get the full benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine,” she continued. “They are more protected with the full series than they are with their just one dose.”
Kaur said they’re working to convince single-dose recipients to get the second shot as soon as possible as the number of fast-spreading delta variant cases continues to rise.
Six cases have now been reported in Stanislaus County in the last two weeks.
“Vaccines are important for protection against this particular variant,” Kaur explained. “We don’t want to see the same levels of devastation that other countries had seen from this.”
Kaur said the current vaccines are 88% effective against the Delta variant, but only for those who are fully vaccinated.
She said they’ve heard a range of reasons why people haven’t shown for their second shot.
“Some say, ‘I’m not going to get my second shot because I had a bad reaction with the first one,’ or some people have even said, ‘Because I think there are some rumors out there that if you were previously infected with COVID-19, then you don’t need your second shot, you just need that one first shot,’ and that’s another huge misconception,” Kaur told FOX40.
According to Dr. Dean Blumberg, professor and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, those who have only gotten the first dose actually have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
“One dose will provide only 80% protection, 80% is good but it’s not as good as 90-95% and the second dose is also important for boosting the immunity to get a longer duration of immunity,” Dr. Blumberg explained. “We don’t know how long that immunity will last with just that one dose.”
County public health officials are working to get those people fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
“We’re still asking community members to go ahead and follow up with your second dose, regardless of how much time you have waited to get it,” Kaur said.
County public health officials say not everyone who hasn’t returned is refusing to get the second shot. Some say they just got busy.
The county is also planning to hold more vaccination clinics for people who missed that second dose.