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Is it necessary to get the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many people aren’t going through with the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine shots out of fear of side effects. Is this a good idea?

vaccine Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Despite the death toll still rising and cases increasing, many people worldwide are taking advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine availability.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to REVOLT, have recently changed rules for Americans who are fully vaccinated. The CDC says those fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks outdoors except in crowded areas. They added people who aren’t vaccinated could stop wearing masks while doing leisurely activities like walking, jogging, or biking outside with other people in their home. The organization has stressed both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should remain socially distanced and cautious while outdoors and wear masks at events such as sports games, outdoor concerts, and parades.

According to The New York Times, Coronavirus statistics in the U.S. show the death toll reaching almost 580,000 people and the average number of cases as of May 2 reported is nearly 50,000. COVID in India is infecting millions and responsible for more than half of the world’s daily COVID cases. The Times reports that more than 200,000 people died from the virus by the end of April, but health officials say the actual figure is a lot higher. America’s restrictions on traveling from India to the U.S. starts this week. This move came from the White House after receiving data showing 3,000 people die daily and India recorded almost 400,000 new cases alone last Thursday (April 29).

While some Americans may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, there are many others who are still skeptical about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York Times reports millions of Americans are not following through with the complete vaccination process and getting their second doses, prompting President Biden to tweet, “Don’t skip your second shot.”

There’s no clear answer for why people aren’t going through with the complete process, but some told The New York Times it was fear of side effects. Or in some cases, some pharmacies and vaccine providers ran out of supplies so they had to cancel second-dose appointments. No matter what the reason is, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor and immunologist who has been providing information on the virus since the pandemic started, stressed to Americans to make sure they receive the second dose.

The claim: Is it necessary to get the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

Our rating: True.

REVOLT fact-checked the benefits and side effects of each vaccine. The CDC says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only requires one. It says people should get the second shot even if there are side effects after the first shot, unless a doctor or vaccine provider tells someone not to.

After receiving the first dose, the CDC says people should get the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after the first one, and four weeks after their first Moderna one.

It adds that people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot or two weeks after a single-shot vaccine. People are not fully immunized if it’s been less than two weeks after the first dose, less than two weeks after the second dose or if someone still needs to get their second dose of a two-dose shot.

Dr. Fauci, according to CNBC, says skipping the second dose could cause problems. He adds a single shot of the vaccine triggers a weaker immune response compared to having both doses. “If you’re having a two-dose regimen, make sure you’re getting that second dose,” he said during a White House briefing on the pandemic.

While plenty of states like California and Texas are opening back up and loosening restrictions, there are several state governors who are receiving the second dose such as Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey who urged New Jerseyans 16 and older to get vaccinated.

Sources:

As over 100 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, concern grows over reaching those who haven’t gotten shotsThe New York Times

What to know about India’s coronavirus crisisThe New York Times

The U.S. will start restricting travel from India on Tuesday, the White House saysThe New York Times

Millions are skipping their second doses of COVID vaccinesThe New York Times

Coronavirus In the U.S.: Latest map and case countThe New York Times

Fauci urges Americans against skipping second COVID vaccine dose, says it provides dramatic benefitsCNBC

If you need a second shot - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact check: Can you still get Coronavirus after getting a vaccine?REVOLT

CDC says fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outdoorsREVOLT

Gov. Murphy gets second COVID vaccine shotNJ.com

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