You've received your first vaccine dose and feel pretty good about it. Cases in the United States are waning and you are feeling comfortable about resuming some of your old activities. You have read that the effectiveness from one dose is high and Covid seems to be on the back-burner in your area. So do you really need to get that second shot?
The answer is a resounding YES and here's why. New data that just came out in Lancet shows us that the vaccines are just as effective in the real world as the studies originally showed us. This is amazing! It is more common for drugs or therapeutics to be LESS effective in the real world, yet the vaccines are living up to their promises. Also we are finding that they are effective ACROSS ALL AGE GROUPS. It is a myth that Covid-19 is harmless to adolescents and younger adults.
Also they are effective against the variants we have been so concerned about. The B.1.1.7 variant (the UK variant) accounted for almost 95% of al US infections and the vaccines work. Testing against the other variants has also proved positive.
How well do they work? After the second shot, the vaccine decreased both symptomatic (97%) and asymptomatic infections (94.5%). This means that over 9 in 10 people have zero chance of spreading the virus to others.
Now let's talk about what happens if you just get one dose. At day 21 the vaccine's effectiveness is good but only 57% protective. The effectiveness after the first dose for asymptomatic infection was only 49%. Good but not good enough to prevent spread. So one dose is good, but that second dose is the icing on the cake. The second dose boosts the antibody levels and protection and allows us to really control this virus.
You wouldn't change half of your car tires if they were bald. You wouldn't wear a seatbelt for 1/2 of the car ride. You wouldn't cook 1/2 of your food and eat the rest raw. Why get only 1/2 of the Covid-19 protection when we are dealing with something so deadly?
If you know someone who is hesitant to get vaccinated, send this to them please. No shaming, just education.