HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Millions of Americans and thousands of people in Virginia have not returned to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
News 3 got the state numbers from the Virginia Department of Health.
COVID has altered the country, but we're moving closer to herd immunity.
“Things over the last four months have been incredibly intense. We crossed the threshold of 6 million doses administered this week,” said Dr. Danny Avula, the Virginia state vaccination coordinator.
But some people aren’t coming back for their second shot.
The CDC reported 8% of Americans, which equals about 5 million people, didn’t return for their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer shot.
Health officials say 9.4% of Virginians didn’t get the second dose, which equals about 160,000 people.
“That is concerning,” Avula said. “I mean, it's higher than I expected, but also it means that there's a large number of people who aren't fully protected.”
Experts say there are several reasons for not coming back: A patient could have suffered symptoms from the first dose, didn’t schedule their second shot or don’t think they need it.
But experts warn that you’re not as protected as you could be without that second shot.
“I think one of our major concerns is if people don't maximize their protection, it will leave a window for variants to come in and impact us more than they would otherwise,” Avula said.
“You can find an appointment in the next couple of days, many clinics are doing walk-ups so you can just show up at a vaccination site and get vaccinated, so I would really urge people to get that second dose. It's not too late,” Avula added.