Stickers and syringes carrying the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to patients on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at the Immunization Clinic in the UI Health Support Services Building in Coral Building. (Liz Martin / The Gazette)
Almost a quarter of the Iowans who launched the COVID-19 vaccine series missed a second dose that could throw a wrench into the race for herd immunity, according to state public health officials.
As of May 2, more than 66,000 Iowa states have skipped or postponed the second dose of the double-dose vaccine series, according to data obtained from the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Data show that of the 275,013 people who received the first injection of the two-dose vaccine series, 66,490 did not receive the second dose within the recommended 21-28 day time frame.
The dosing interval for Pfizer-BioNTech is 21 days or longer. For Moderna, it’s 28 days.
Of the more than 66,000 individuals, 27,015 have passed the minimum interval of one to seven days, according to Sarah Exstrand, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Public Health Service.
As of Tuesday, more than 1,069,010 Iowans have been fully vaccinated, accounting for almost 34 percent of the state’s population. State coronavirus data..
Dr. Pat Winnockle, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic, said the virus could spread even if not completely protected from the vaccine, and the state’s efforts to reach herd immunity are serious. He said it could have an impact.
“Skipping the second dose makes it more difficult to control the infection in the community just because it increases the number of breakthrough cases of the infection,” she said.
As of April 26, 61,773 Iowans had missed a second dose, according to state data. Of these, 23,104 exceeded the recommended minimum interval within a week.
State officials did not elaborate on why Iowans did not return for the second dose. State public health officials have warned about vaccine repellent rates for Iowans in recent weeks, but other public health agencies say barriers to access to shots are also a major driver.
Winokur pointed out that encouraging individuals to return to a second dose is a common problem with multiple dose vaccines. Often, she said, because people get busy with their daily activities and forget about their second shot.
Others may be worried about not having a job or school because of the symptoms of the vaccine, Winncle said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes that it is imperative that individuals receive a second dose as close as possible to the recommended interval.
If that is not possible, the CDC states that individuals can receive a second dose of Pfizer and Modana vaccines. Up to 6 weeks or 42 days, After the first dose.
“Even if you are late for the second dose, you should take it as much as possible,” says Winokur. “The second dose is very important, and even if it is delayed, it really improves the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.”
The number of Iowans receiving only partial vaccination may be of concern, but studies show that single doses can still be very effective.
According to the report, a single dose of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 80% effective in preventing infection. CDC study published in late March.. The study analyzed the efficacy of the vaccine among nearly 4,000 frontline and other essential workers.
However, the study found that the effectiveness of the vaccine reached 90% with two doses.
“One dose gives some immunity, but prevention is unlikely to last long, and one dose is not as effective in preventing disease as two doses,” Winokur said. I am.
State officials hope that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will increase the number of vaccines given in the state. A single-dose COVID-19 vaccine may be attractive to those who desire the convenience of a one-time injection, Ekstrand said.
“We are working to understand and eliminate the barriers Iowan is experiencing in the second vaccination,” Ekstrand said in an email.
To break down the potential barriers to getting the vaccine, Winncle said he should be allowed a second dose wherever Iowans wants. For example, if you get your first vaccination at your local clinic, you should be able to go to another vaccine provider, such as a pharmacy.
According to Winncle, it would be helpful if individuals could take a second shot at their own time rather than making a specific appointment.
“As vaccines become more abundant, this is much more standard and should help people adjust their second dose to their daily schedule,” she said.
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