This year’s Fourth of July was different from the last year’s situation in Houston amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During this year’s holiday, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations stayed at an untouched low. However, what is worrying is that the number of individuals avoiding the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has grown.
“We have an enormous percent – 10% individuals locally here in Houston – who had their first dose and didn’t get their second shot,” said Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department (HHD).
HHD information shows 147,787 individuals were overdue for their second dose as of May 28.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says 8.9% of Texans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine avoided their second shot as of June 27, which is more than 1.2 million individuals.
“That is bad,” Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health, said, adding: “It looks like our vaccines, after the first dose, don’t work well at all against Delta, so that second dose is critical.”
Meanwhile, a U.K. study discovered the Pfizer immunization is 33% viable against the Delta variation for individuals who just get one dose, and 88% viable after two dosages.
Jetelina said the Delta variant, which first emerged in India, is the most infectious so far and it is present in Houston.
She urged people to follow the suggested shot timetable.
However, in case you’re already overdue, getting both vaccine doses is crucial no matter how long you wait in between.