This week is World Immunization Week—a campaign that celebrates and promotes the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. According to the WHO, “Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need, and many miss out on vital vaccines during adolescence, adulthood and into old age.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, this initiative is more important than ever. As Forbes magazine reports, “The number of coronavirus vaccine shots administered worldwide has passed 1 billion, according to multiple data trackers, with the vast majority in wealthy nations…Nearly a quarter of the world’s total doses have been dispensed in the United States, with an average of more than 2.8 million jabs per day over the last week. More than half of all American adults have gotten at least the first dose.”
However, the New York Times reports that “Millions of Americans are not getting the second doses of their Covid-19 vaccines, and their ranks are growing.
More than five million people, or nearly 8 percent of those who got a first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, have missed their second doses, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than double the rate among people who got inoculated in the first several weeks of the nationwide vaccine campaign.
From the outset, public health experts worried that it would be difficult to get everyone to return for a second shot three or four weeks after the first dose. It is no surprise that, as vaccines are rolled out more broadly, the numbers of those skipping their second dose have gone up…”
In a recent poll of 260+ global Sermo physicians, 33% said they have patients who have skipped their second vaccine shots; and 64% said they expected that it would be a hurdle to get people to come back for a second shot. When asked why they think people are skipping the second shot, this is how the physicians responded:
- 60% said fear of side effects
- 44% said concerns over vaccine safety
- 32% the belief that one shot is sufficient
- 27% said difficulty in getting the 2nd appointment
- 22% said vaccine providers ran out of supply
- 12% said busy schedules
- 9% said other reasons
Seventy-six percent of physicians are concerned that if this trend continues, the coronavirus will never get under control; and 73% are concerned that the majority of Covid vaccines are being administered in wealthy nations.
Here’s more of what Sermo physicians have to say on this topic:
The bigger problem is the uprise of new variants such as the Indian and the Brazilian one. If they prove to be resistant: Good night, America. The key focus is to be put on those countries which brew new variants because they are simply unable to supply only a single shot.Ophthalmology
News coverage presents a very slanted view of risks. So-called ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is a very real problem, especially among some demographics. The risk of COVID (death and MAJOR complications) FAR outweighs the risk of vaccination both now and for the foreseeable future. Most regions are now reporting increased hospitalizations among YOUNGER adults, the very population who mistakenly believe they are at no (or very low) risk of serious or fatal complications. Yet many US vaccination sites report an increasing number of no-shows, and a decrease in overall vaccination numbers despite many sites having walk-in service. Sad.Anesthesiology
We need to be clear COVID will get under control wen virus decides so not we. We will continue to struggle with this issue for next 10 years or so. The harder we try to control it the worse it will get. Next fall/winter will be lighter than this and so on for next 10 years or so. The faster we abandon idea of getting COVID under control the better. First lets get cancer under control.Hematology Oncology
It’s been rough trying to get everyone the first or the second shot due to availability of vaccine.Internal Medicine
I think people are afraid of side effects that they have heard from friends! I don’t expect many pts. will get the third shot for either vaccine!Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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