NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Right now, there are three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two of them require getting two shots, but some people aren’t showing back up for that second appointment.
Earlier this week, the CDC released a report saying 92% of Americans got their second shot within their scheduled time frame. But that still equates to about five million people that didn’t, or 8%.
Locally, Metro Public Health Department were slightly under that national average in Davidson County with roughly 6.5% of people not returning for their second shot.
Chair of the Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Alex Jahangir, says some people are worried about developing chills, headaches, or fatigue from the vaccine. But he says those side effects typically go away within 24 hours and you need to get the full dose to ensure maximum protection against the virus.
“I can tell you the side effects of the second dose are nowhere as bad as the side effects of getting COVID,” Dr. Jahangir said. “If you’ve already gone through the effort to get your first dose yes you do have some protection. But it is nowhere near as close to the 95% to 99% effective rate that both shots will give you.”
Dr. Jahangir described it to being similar to taking antibiotics. It’s most effective when you take all the medication.
“You just need to finish your treatment regimen. That’s kind of the best way to know that you’ll be 100% effective and we can get on with our lives,” Dr. Jahangir said.
If you only want to get one shot, you can sign up for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Metro Public Health department is distributing those in a drive-thru location in Antioch.
Distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine resumed last week in Tennessee following a temporary pause after several U.S. women reported developing rare, but serious blood clots.