The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is very important and doctors are urging everyone not to skip out on getting it.

According to NewsWest 9, the reason you should not miss the second dose is because medical experts like Rohith Saravanan, Chief Medical Officer at Odessa Regional Hospital say it will reduce the efficacy of the vaccine from 95% to about 60%.

“Both doses have to be given in order for someone to be considered fully vaccinated," Saravanan said. "Having one dose does not mean they are fully vaccinated, so you couldn’t count them towards herd immunity.”

Herd immunity happens when 70-80% of the population in an area is vaccinated, but that only happens if both shots are received by everybody.

“I don’t know if we’re seeing a whole lot of people not getting the second dose of the vaccine," Saravanan said. "We are seeing people who have left the area who have tried to get it elsewhere or people who have gotten to the area and now they are trying to get their second dose. COVID is on the decline in our community, but that does not mean it is gone in our community," Saravanan said. "So there’s no reason to risk it. Definitely get that second shot.”

The CDC recommends you get the second shot approximately 3-4 weeks after the first one, but if you can't get it in that time the CDC recommendation is to get it by 6 weeks.

Dr. Saravanan is concerned people will stop after the first shot which will leave those people in our community out of the ranks of herd immunity and a possible new wave of COVID-19 could begin especially with the new variants popping up.

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