ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As vaccination rates continue to climb across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is noticing a troubling trend: Millions of people skipping that crucial second shot. So how many New Mexicans fall into that group?
As of April 26, 2021, more than 950,000 New Mexicans have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and more than 685,000 are considered fully vaccinated. However, not everyone is sticking around for that second shot. According to an article by The New York Times, there are more than five million people in the country, or nearly eight percent, who got the first shot and have missed their second doses. That number is much smaller here in New Mexico.
“We’re talking about six-thousand people who did not show up as scheduled for their second vaccine,” said David Morgan with the New Mexico Department of Health. That’s less than one percent of fully vaccinated New Mexicans. But even still, the state said that’s too many people not getting their second shot.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to be able to assure that fewer New Mexicans fall into that trap of ‘I got my first shot but I haven’t gotten around to my second one yet,'” said Morgan. So why are Americans skipping the second shot? According to The New York Times, one reason could be the concern about side effects or think that one dose is enough.
According to state officials here in New Mexico, it’s more about scheduling issues. “Ninty-nine times out of 100 it’s: ‘I’m just trying to work around my work schedule,'” said Morgan.
The state said they’ve been able to address that by letting people adjust the date and time getting that second dose and if they’re no-shows to their appointment, the Department will reach out to them. “We want you to get vaccinated but we also understand work and real-life sometimes gets in the way and you need to be able to schedule it when it’s going to work for you,” said Morgan.
Depending on which vaccine you get, the research said people should get their second shot three to four weeks after the first dose. The state said even if more than six weeks have passed, you should still get it. Right now, there is only one vaccine authorized in the U.S. to be given as a single shot and that is the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.