SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Millions of Americans have missed appointments for their second COVID vaccine dose.
According to the CDC, more than five million, about eight percent, had missed their second Pfizer or Moderna doses as of early April.
According to the latest numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health, more than 247,000 people have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
However, more than 5,800 people appear to have missed the second dose.
KELOLAND News spoke with the Avera McKennan Hospital Chief Medical Officer about what the health system is seeing.
“We’ve been fortunate here at Avera. We estimate that about 95 percent of people that get their first dose have gotten back in that 3-4 week window to get their dose and complete their series,” Avera McKennan Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Elliot said.
Elliot says there’s a significant benefit to getting both doses.
“Really it’s just an addition to the importance of the first dose. We have said so many times that this is a race, the vaccine versus the variants, and the more people we can get vaccinated, the sooner we can get them vaccinated, then the less chance that the virus has to infect people, to replicate, and to create variants,” Elliot said.
If you face any hurdles in getting the second shot, just reach out.
“Even if life happens and you can’t make it for that second dose as scheduled, please call. Let us know. Let us help you reschedule it,” Elliot said.
COVID-19 vaccinations are open to people 16 and older.
To find out where you can get a shot, click here.