OCH Regional Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer says one dose ‘not enough’ as more people skip second COVID-19 shot

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – According to the CDC, there is a growing trend of people skipping their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“One dose is not enough,” said Interim Chief Nursing Officer Savannah Brown with OCH Regional Medical Center. “It is helpful but it’s not enough.”

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The CDC report shows close to 5 million people across the country have skipped their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I do know that some people are hesitant,” Brown said. “Maybe that first shot made them feel a little bad and they’ve heard the rumor that the second one may knock them down for a couple of days.”

Over 1.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Close to 57 percent of those have gone to people who gotten at least one dose, while around 45 percent have gone to people who are fully vaccinated.

Brown says they have occasionally had issues with some of their patients missing second shots, though not often.

“If you don’t come for your second shot, you are most likely going to hear from us,” she said. “We’re going to call, we’re going to try to find out why and try to work out ways to get you in.”

While she does acknowledge that those unpleasant side effects are a possibility, Brown says that they are a sign that the vaccine is working the way it is supposed to.

“If I have a fever after my shot, if I have body aches or feel like I even have the flu for a couple of days, that is a sign of a strong immune response,” she explained.

And she says that reaction is typically over within 24 to 36 hours from when those symptoms began.

“COVID-19 can isolate you from your family and your peers for two weeks at least,” she said. “And if you have a bad case of it, you feel pretty awful for that whole time, if not longer.”

Another reason people have been skipping the second dose is that they believe just one shot is enough.

“There are occasionally people who do get COVID-19 after the first shot,” Brown said. “Not because of the shot, but during that time period (between shots).”

Ultimately, Brown says skipping the second COVID-19 shot is not worth the risk, especially since OCH has plenty of doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“The people who have gotten COVID…are typically going to be the ones to tell you, ‘I want that vaccine because I don’t want to do that again,'” she said.

Brown says that for people who are having trouble getting their second shot, they can call OCH’s COVID Shot Hotline at 662-615-2981.

She also reiterated that 70 to 80 percent of the population must be fully vaccinated to reach herd immunity.