A larger number of Americans are skipping their scheduled second shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to new data released from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC found that most recently, more than five million people, approximately 8 percent of those receiving vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech - which require two doses several weeks apart to complete the process - have skipped their second doses.
That number is up from approximately 3.4 percent a month ago as the country was ramping up its vaccination program.
Officials noted that the CDC is still collecting data on vaccinations, and that some states don’t report the information immediately, and not all information from mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacies, and other places offering vaccines has not been collected.
“If a person received the two doses from different reporting entities, those two doses may not have been linked,” a CDC spokesperson stated. “For example, if a person received their first dose at a clinic run by the state, and second dose from a tribal health clinic, they might not be linked and it could look like they missed the second dose.”
According to the CDC, approximately 95 million people (28.5 percent of the population) have been vaccinated, while around 140 million people (42.2 percent) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Obviously whenever you have a two-dose vaccine, you're going to see people who for one reason or other -- convenience, forgetting, a number of other things -- just don't show up for the second vaccine,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “I’d like it to be a 0 percent, but I’m not surprised that there are some people who do that.”
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