Why Is Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine Second Dose So Important?
Ritvik has just got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He hasn’t been feeling good since then. He feels sick and his arm hurts a lot. He is wondering if he should even get the COVID-19 vaccine second dose or not.
He is wondering if there is even any benefit of getting the second dose. What is the worst that could happen if he misses out on the second dose of his COVID-19 vaccine?
A lot of friends didn’t go for the second dose. And they seem okay. Wouldn’t he be okay if he skipped the second vaccine dose too?
If getting the COVID-19 vaccine was a difficult experience for you too, then it is understandable that you might want to skip the second dose. However, this is not something that you or Ritvik should ever do. Ritvik should even convince his friends to take the second dose of their vaccines and be fully vaccinated.
Are you wondering why all of this is important? If you are, then you are in the right place as we will help you figure out the answer to all of these questions and help you make a better decision regarding being fully vaccinated.
Why the Second Dose?
According to experts, almost 8% of people are missing their second dose. This is not advisable as there is a reason behind having two shots for being fully vaccinated. Let’s try to understand what that is.
There are mainly two international COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna. Both of these vaccines are mRNA vaccines. This means that a single dose of these vaccines will not work. In contrast, COVID-19 vaccines like Johnson & Johnson are single-dose vaccines.
The research conducted during the trial for all major two-dose vaccines shows that after a certain amount of time, the rate of immunity to COVID-19 is plateaued with a single dose. The second dose is required to help boost the overall immunity of the body to a higher rate.
Data also shows that the single-dose effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine is between 60% and 70%. This effectiveness is bumped up to 90% if the individual takes two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. Further, Pfizer also claimed a 91% effectiveness after two doses with higher rates of prevention against serious medical effects of COVID-19.
From these numbers and research studies, it is quite clear to see why that second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is vital. But irrespective of that, some people still miss it.
Skipping the Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimate of roughly 5 million people receive one dose of their vaccination but skip the second dose. This is a very high number that has to be tackled.
However, how exactly one can tackle this problem is still up for debate. This is mainly due to the fact that experts don’t clearly understand why people are skipping their second vaccine dose.
Is this happening due to scheduling mishaps? Are canceled appointments the problem? Or the real issue lies in the fact that people think that taking one dose of vaccine is fine. Or is there a lot of frustration when it comes to dealing with the side effects of getting the first vaccine dose? Are people scared of suffering the same side effects from the second vaccine dose too?
Reasons Why You Should get Both Vaccine Doses
Ritvik now knows why he needs to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But he is still wondering about what reason can be there for other people to get the second dose of vaccine if they are not following all these studies.
Let’s look at some of those reasons by going through the list below.
- Protection Against COVID-19
The most obvious and biggest benefit of getting the COVID-19 vaccines is that it provides better protection to you against this disease. When you look at the effectiveness of both doses, then you realize that the side effects are a very small price to pay in comparison to the level of protection you will receive.
If an individual gets COVID-19 vaccines, then he or she can get rid of the risk of any serious illness and hospitalization. Further, in an effort to encourage people to be fully vaccinated, countries across the globe have started providing their citizens with the freedom of getting their first and second vaccine doses wherever they want.
People can now get fully vaccinated while they are on a work trip or simply out to run an errand! Governments across the globe are making it easier for their citizens to quickly get vaccinated without any hassle. This flexibility is meant to reduce the number of people who skip out on the second COVID-19 vaccine dose.
- Protecting the Community
Ritvik lives in a community where everyone is very generous, compassionate, and involved in each other’s lives. This is why he thinks to encourage vaccination in his community, he should bring out how getting vaccinated will not just benefit one person but everyone in the community, including adults, children, and older adults.
According to several studies, communities with the highest rates of vaccination report the lowest data for new COVID-19 infection cases. It has also been found that lower vaccine effectiveness exists for people of Black and Asian ancestry. This is why people belonging to this group should get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
- Live Your Life
A lot of countries are allowing their fully vaccinated citizens to go back to the way they were living before the COVID-19 pandemic. This has had a lot of allure for people in those countries. It can also serve as a reason why you should get fully vaccinated today!
What If I Have Already Missed My Second Dose?
Sometimes there are scenarios that are just out of your control. And what if a scenario like that has resulted in you missing your COVID-19 second vaccine dose?
If that is the case, then you should get your second dose of vaccine as soon as possible. According to the recommendations rolled out by CDC, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern COVID-19 vaccines can be administered up to six weeks after the first dose.
This would mean that you won’t have to restart the two-dose vaccine series again. Also, if you tested positive for COVID-19 after getting your first dose, then you should isolate and wait before getting your second dose.
How Can I Relieve My Side Effects after a Second Dose of Vaccine?
Some people experience side effects like muscle pain, joint pain, headache, fatigue, chills, and fever after getting the first vaccine dose. Ritvik experienced the same side effects. And if you did too, then you should know that it is completely okay and common.
You can take some steps to relieve yourself of these side effects. These steps are:
- Rest as much as possible
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Apply a cool compress to the injection site
- Use fever reducers or over-the-counter pain medication after talking with your doctor
Scheduling the Second Vaccine Dose!
Even though Ritvik has just got his first vaccine dose, he is now more prepared than ever to get the second dose of vaccine. He has even made a vaccine booking weeks in advance! Are you as prepared as Ritvik? Has Ritvik encouraged you to make that advance second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointment booking?