CDC: Millions of Americans skipping 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose

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Gov. Tim Walz, doctors urging people not to do that saying the vaccine creates long-term memory cells to fight off virus if you get it in the future.

RICHFIELD, Minn. — Minnesota is vaccinating so many people, Gov. Tim Walz said on Tuesday he could announce he’s loosing restrictions again as early as this week.

About 2.5 million people have gotten their first dose, but it’s at that point that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking note of a troubling trend — people are skipping their second dose.

Gov. Walz says he’s continuing to encourage people to get fully vaccinated, and that includes making it easier. He held an event outside a mobile vaccine clinic parked at a Richfield apartment complex. 

“We’re doing that next step of making it as easy as possible for literally people to walk out of their apartments, across the parking lot, get their vaccine and go back home within 20 minutes,” said Gov. Walz. “People aren’t hesitant to get the vaccine if they’re just really busy or it’s not convenient for them to get it.”

The CDC, though, is pointing to new data showing some people are hesitant when it comes to their second dose.

Through the beginning of April, it recorded about 5 million people who skipped it because they think one dose provides enough protection or they’re scared of symptoms.

RELATED: What activities CDC says are (and aren’t) safe without masks for fully vaccinated

“For those that do feel some symptoms, it’s usually mild muscle ache, maybe a headache and feeling a little bit off,” said Allina Health Dr. Kevin Best.

Dr. Best, along with the governor, is urging people to get their second shot. Dr. Best said consider the first dose like a blue print, while the second dose is the all-important practice run.

“That’s what creates those long-term memory cells that will store those antibodies that at any point down the road you would be able to fight off the virus before it ever got set up in your system,” said Dr. Best, who also believes in more education, including answering questions and clarifying people’s concerns about vaccination. 

“I think there’s a large group of people that are more than willing to go ahead with vaccination if presented in a really easy, convenient way for them,” said Dr. Best.

This as Minnesota works towards reaching community immunity as early as next month, according to Gov. Walz.

The mobile vaccination clinic will be in Richfield at the Seasons Park Apartments through Thursday. You can sign up when you arrive and get a vaccine at the same time. The governor says the bus will also be parked at various workplaces and schools.

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