ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County is tracking a new problem with getting our community to herd immunity: A growing number of people who have received one shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine aren’t coming back for round two.
“We’re talking about more than 43,000 people who are only half-vaccinated in our community,” Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said.
Pino said the Department of Health wants those people to know it’s not too late to get their second shot.
Health leaders say it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since your first dose. Even if you were one of the first people to get vaccinated back in January, you can still get your second dose now with no problems.
Officials said about 15% of people who’ve been vaccinated in Orange County are overdue for their second shot, about the same as the a national level.
Those people who don’t complete the series are not fully immune from COVID-19.
“Although you acquire some level of protection when you have just one dose, we are not sure how long that will last or how high,” Pino said.
He’s concerned it could have an impact on the community reaching herd immunity.
He wants to make sure people understand the 21-day wait period for the Pfizer vaccine, or 28 days for Moderna, is only a minimum requirement to get the second shot. So if your second dose is long overdue, that’s OK. You can still come anytime for your second shot.
Pino said although with some vaccines you would have to start the series over if it’s been too long in between shots, he said you don’t have to do that with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So, if you have missed your second dose, and it was three months ago, we will be giving you your second dose without requiring to start the series again,” he said.