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Get the second dose!

An epidemiologist advising the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases warns that half of those who have received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose may be missing out on the second dose.

Dr. John Wong, a member of the IATF’s sub-technical working group on data analytics, noted that only about a million people who had been vaccinated with their first anti-Covid shots from Sinovac and Gamaleya Research Institute have received their second doses.

“If you look at about three months’ worth of data, just looking at the vaccines that have a one-month interval for vaccination – Sinovac and Gamaleya – we have vaccinated 3.1 million first doses. So we expect that about 2.1 million would have come back by now for their second dose, but so far only about a million have come back,” Wong said in an online town hall forum.

He said experts do not have information yet for the reasons why some people do not come back for their second dose.

Over 5.2 million doses of Covid vaccines had been administered in the country, as of May 31. Of this number, over 4 million were given as first dose and 1.2 million were provided as second shots.

The Department of Health has been reiterating that people can only have the maximum potential of Covid-19 vaccines if they receive the full doses. However, based on the data and statistics, it would seem that the DOH has its work cut out for it when it comes to spreading the education and awareness programs to counter both vaccine hesitancy and for those who have received the first dose to complete the second dose, in order to achieve maximum protection from the coronavirus that will continue to stall the economy for as long as the goal of herd immunity cannot be expeditiously achieved.

One dose of the vaccine will provide protection but the complete dosage will confer maximum protection to the individual. Additionally, a small percentage of the population being vaccinated may protect them but a country needs to vaccinate enough citizens in order to achieve herd immunity and the normalcy and recovery that is bound to follow.

With such a low percentage of the population fully vaccinated ever since the first vaccines were delivered in March, our vaccination program needs a lot more work if it is going to be effective. We can best help our country by taking every opportunity to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible and encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same.*

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