Why It’s Important to Get Your Second COVID-19 Vaccine

  • 2021-05-18
  • 2096

Why there are two shots

Of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States, two of them – offered by Pfizer and Moderna (both mRNA vaccines) – require two doses while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose. And the need for getting both doses of the two-shot vaccines, Dr. Goje says, comes down to the science.

Research during the trial phase for each of the two-dose vaccines showed that, after a certain time, the rate of immunity to COVID-19 plateaued with just one dose but that the second dose helped boost the immunity to higher rates.

Why it’s so important to get both doses

There are a number of reasons why the second dose is so important. For one, it’s important to protect yourself against getting the virus. But it’s also important to keep from spreading it to others.

Protecting yourself against COVID-19

Probably the biggest reason for getting both doses is easy and obvious: better protection against COVID-19. With such high rates of effectiveness, getting both doses better protects you against not just getting COVID-19, but from serious illness and hospitalization as a result of getting sick. Booster shots, in general, allow our immune system to retain memory or knowledge of a virus for a longer period of time.

“Researchers will tell you that if you get more than 50% efficacy with a vaccine and it is shown to be safe, you’re good,” Dr. Goje says. “But, in this case, why stay at 65% effective when you can get the second shot and have a 95% efficacy rate?”

In fact, she adds, in an effort to encourage people to get that second dose, the U.S. federal government directed pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to give any patient their second dose even if they had received their first dose elsewhere.

The bottom line: Get vaccinated

The most important thing, Dr. Goje says, is to focus on getting vaccinated. Besides getting yourself fully vaccinated, encourage your family, friends and community to do the same. “Instead of looking at numbers, we should all get vaccinated as quickly as possible。Don’t sweat the calendar — too much

She encourages those who have received their first dose but are dragging their feet on getting their second dose to not be discouraged.

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