2nd COVID-19 shot
A woman receiving her COVID-19 shot

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and getting vaccinated will help protect you against developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying from COVID-19. Vaccines are designed to provide immunity without the dangers of getting the disease. It’s common to experience some mild-to-moderate side effects when receiving vaccinations. This is because your immune system is instructing your body to react in certain ways: it increases blood flow so more immune cells can circulate, and it raises your body temperature in order to kill the virus.

According to reports, more than 5 million Americans have missed getting their second shot of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reported April 25.  That translates to about 8 percent of people who got their initial shot, according to CDC data that accounted for missed second doses through April 9.

Fear of side effects is among the reasons people said they were skipping their second dose. Others told the Times they felt they were adequately protected with one shot. Basith Syed, a 24-year-old consultant in Chicago, got his first Moderna shot in February and after spending two days feeling fatigued, going back for the second dose wasn’t a priority.

“I didn’t really feel the urgency to get that second dose,” Mr. Syed told the Times. Earlier this month, his schedule relaxed and he went to make an appointment for the second dose, though the Walgreens he initially visited was now only administering Pfizer shots. He’s no longer actively looking for an active shot, pointing to a larger issue with mismatched pharmacy appointments.

The issue of pharmacy providers scheduling second dose appointments when they don’t have the same vaccine brand in stock has affected an unknown number of customers. While some people have no issue rescheduling and pinpointing another location that has the same vaccine in stock, the hassle poses barriers for those worried about taking time off or without reliable transportation, the Times reported.

The issues affected a “small percentage” of people who booked their appointments online and Walgreens contacted them to reschedule “in alignment with our vaccine availability,” a company spokesperson told the Times, adding that 95 percent of people who received their first shot at their pharmacy also got a second dose there.

Health officials in some states have ramped up outreach efforts to remind people that they’re due for their shots. Some vaccine providers have also introduced special clinics specifically for those who are late on their second dose.

To read the full New York Times article, click here.

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