Why you shouldn’t skip your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Over four million of Pennsylvanians have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, doctors are urging them to return for their second.

Geisinger doctor, Cybele Pacheco, said we need the second dose so that if we’re exposed to the COVID-19 virus, our bodies recognize it and can respond appropriately. While it’s not necessarily dangerous to miss the second dose, it doesn’t allow your protection against COVID-19 to reach it’s maximum strength.

If you happen to miss your second appointment due to an emergency or sickness, you should reschedule as soon as possible. She says rescheduling between six to eight weeks is okay if necessary and discussed with your primary care doctor.

“Really what we want to do is make sure there’s at least four weeks between the vaccines,” said Dr. Pacheco.

Possible symptoms from a second dose should not deter you, as she said the majority of people experience mild cases.

“The symptoms that you do get from the vaccine are a nice little way to let you know that your immune system has responded and is doing what it needs to do,” said Dr. Pecheco.

She said it’s all about perspective.

“I would think of it as, you know, as you won the game! You know, that it’s exciting that your body’s responded,” said Dr. Pecheco.

She said some of her patients have experienced zero symptoms from the vaccine and are asking if that means it wasn’t effective in their system.

“That does not mean that. It doesn’t mean that. But, it’s nice to know your body responded and you have a little bit of something going on after the vaccine exposure,” said Dr. Pecheco.

She said completing a vaccine cycle not only protects yourself, but protects those around you, and is a great way to help keep the community safe.

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