This article originally appeared in Spanish on the NHCOA blog.
In the United States, more than 40% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, however, most approved COVID-19 vaccines require two doses to provide a level of adequate protection.
Delaying a second dose of the vaccine could put people at risk for any of the new variants and “are dangerously vulnerable to infection with variants that weaken the effects of antibodies,” according to recent statements by Dr. Anthony Faucci, chief epidemiologist. of the White House.
Another dangerous point is that, when receiving the first dose, and not returning for the second, the person runs the risk of being left with a false sense of security. You may even mistakenly think that you are already immune to the virus and continue with your normal life, without basic care against the pandemic.
According to research conducted by the universities of Princeton, Harvard and Columbia and the National Institutes of Health of the United States, published in the journal Science, giving a single dose can reduce the number of cases in the short term by immunizing more quickly to a greater number of individuals. However, if people’s immune responses are less robust after a dose, subsequent outbreaks could be larger.
Another finding of the study is that the very low rates of administration of the vaccine may be associated with a greater number of cases and, possibly, with the adaptation of the virus. Given this, the research emphasizes the importance of an equitable distribution of the vaccine worldwide, since the immune escape in one place will spread rapidly through the new variables of the virus.
There is still much to know about vaccines and it is important to continue to comply with all measures until more is known about their protection against new strains and the body’s reaction to them.
NHCOA strongly asks all people who received the first dose, regardless of the vaccine they received, to wait the minimum time necessary to return to the nearest vaccination center and complete the vaccination with the second dose.
In addition to the vaccine, the recommendations remain the same for those who received one, two, or no doses of the vaccine: everyone should maintain physical distance, use face masks, wash their hands with soap and water (or alternatively use alcohol gel); and make sure you live in open spaces where the air flows.
Let’s stop COVID-19 together!
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.