Area county health departments see double-digit no-show rate for 2nd vaccine doses

Some area county health departments reported more than 10 percent of people not showing up for their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, above the rate seen across the U.S.

The second shot of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines increase immunity by about 10 percent, but just one shot brings about 80 percent protection from COVID-19, according to a CDC study.

>> Coronavirus: CDC announces updated mask guidance

A new report from the CDC says about 8 percent of Americans who have received their first shot of the vaccine have skipped the second booster shot. That amounts to about five million people.

But, why aren’t some people getting the second shot?

“There’s a couple different reasons. The first one is fear. If people are having a particularly difficult time after the first dose, where they had a lot of immunogenic reactions, they may be a little hesitant to go through that again,” said Dr. Roberto Colon with Premier Health.

Colon said there is also some renewed vaccine hesitancy, because of the brief pause of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose shot over safety concerns surrounding a rare blood clotting issue.

“There’s extrapolation of even if they got Pfizer or Moderna they may believe that the same risks may be applying to them, which is not true either,” Colon said.

Preble County Health officials said they’ve seen about 14 percent of people not showing up for their second dose of the Moderna vaccine at their clinics, while only about 0.3 percent of people getting the Pfizer shot haven’t come back for a second shot.

Miami County Public Health reported they’re seeing around a 10.9 percent no-show rate for the second dose, but that data doesn’t reflect whether someone may have gone to a different provider to get the second shot.

Kettering Health Network said their no-show rates for the second shot have been in line with the CDC’s report of 8 percent nationwide.

Premier Health says their no-show rate is below the national rate.

“Like other vaccine providers, we have seen a small percentage of people miss their appointments for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the no-show rate has remained below 8 percent at our vaccine clinics,” said Ben Sutherly, spokesman for Premier Health.

Two counties, Montgomery and Greene, said they don’t have the data available for those second shots.

Colon said there are dangers to not going back for the second dose.

“The worry is if you don’t not complete the vaccine series for Pfizer or Moderna and that second dose, you’re not going to get that highest degree of protection,” Colon said. “That’s going to diminish the effectiveness of that vaccine, and potentially make you more susceptible to getting that virus down the road.

In Ohio, about 4.6 million residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, which is almost 40 percent of the entire state population.