DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Despite the huge demand for the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, doctors at one Dallas hospital say they are stunned at the number of people not showing up for their just as important second dose.
Of the more than 500 people registered to return to City Hospital at White Rock for the second doses of vaccine in the past month, as nearly 10% failed to keep their appointments. That’s disturbing to the medical staff which is working hard to make sure the precious few doses City Hospital at White Rock gets every week don’t go to waste.
The East Dallas hospital has had as many as 50 of the 519 vaccinated miss their appointments for the crucial second one which can raise immunity to the virus to as much as 94%.
The hospital’s Chief Medical Director Dr. John Myers said when they do have an extra dose, it has to be used within six hours after its defrosted. Dr. Myers said his staff has scrambled to find other qualified recipients for the dozens of people who have canceled or no-showed on the second vaccine. He warned that there’s a real danger of vaccine doses going unused if it continues.
“We still have some employees that were waiting for the vaccine so we’ve been giving some of those doses to employees. Last week we had a few extra doses for people who couldn’t come and we gave them to a few community phase 1B group. So we’ve been trying to make sure that zero go to waste,” he said.
These vaccine providers say they understand that people can’t always make scheduled appointments, but said it’s important to communicate and reschedule rather than not showing up so they can find someone needing a first dose to get it.
“It’s like liquid gold,” said Dr. Myers.
He estimates it could take a couple weeks to get all the second dose vaccines they’ve received into the patients they’re intended for. “Some people will get the first shot and think, do I really need the second shot? And they do need the second shot,” said Dr. Myers.
“There are obviously concerns if we don’t go with what was done in the trials themselves that the vaccine would be less durable. It wouldn’t work for as long. And then there’s an ongoing concern that we would see the emergence of more variants if there was low level virus and it was allowed to mutate,” said CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“Small jab of a needle. That’s it,” said Idowu Ajose, after receiving hers. “It’s a step in the right direction – getting the protection I need.”
To those who skip out, Ajose says: reconsider.
“There are a lot of people that would love to be in your shoes and have access to the vaccine,” she said.