One Shot Is Good, Two Shots Are Better

Infectious disease experts (and mathematicians) are pretty unanimous: 64% is nice, but 94% is even better.

And yet, about 8% of those vaccinated for COVID in the U.S. haven’t come back for their second shot, and about 5% haven’t in Texas, the Texas Tribune reports.

“Bottom line of my message: Get vaccinated. And if you’re having a two-dose regimen, make sure you get that second dose, too,” White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 64% effective at reducing hospitalizations among elderly patients who contract the virus, but after two shots, that number leaps up to 94%.

Last week, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that roughly half those eligible to receive the vaccine in the county had gotten at least one dose.

“Everything is showing us that you need two doses to get good protection against the virus,” said Dr. John Carlo, CEO of Prism Health North Texas and a member of the state medical association’s COVID-19 task force.

“The first dose of the vaccine may protect you from the original virus, but there are variants out there,” Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, said. “Because your immune response isn’t as strong without your second dose, variants can replicate and spread. The second dose lowers the odds of that happening.”

The state is now embarking on a campaign to make sure that people are aware that they should make time for that second dose — and that they don’t have to start all over if they haven’t been able to come back for that second shot at the recommended time.

In other news:

  • Dallas County health officials reported 178 new cases and three deaths on Saturday, and 229 new cases and four deaths on Friday. “We are now seeing more and more young people having serious cases of COVID,” Jenkins said.
  • Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Texans to be cautious when considering buying from companies selling over-the-counter hearing aids, particularly online or by mail order. Many hearing devices sold this way are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are deceptively marketed as medical hearing devices when they contain low-quality amplifiers. Texans can report deceptive marketing to Paxton’s office.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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