COVID-19 vaccine confidence and the importance of that second dose

Apr 28 8:00am | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (3)

While the number of people being vaccinated for COVID-19 is dropping, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts continue to strongly encourage people to get vaccinated for COVID-19. And that means that those who are being vaccinated with the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine should get their first and second doses on schedule.

“About 8% of people who got their first dose have not returned for the second dose and this is concerning when you're getting close to 1 in 10," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "When you measure in the short term, one dose in a healthy person offers about 80% protection. But that's not 95% protection, like you get after two doses."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland expands on why people need that second COVID-19 vaccine dose and he talks about whether people should mix and match the different COVID-19 vaccines for their second dose. He also speaks about the status of COVID-19 vaccines for young people, and he addresses listener questions about traveling, being together after vaccination, and the latest rise of additional COVID-19 variants.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 support group.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

I reacted to the PEG, in my first Pfizer vaccine, with chemical sensitivity to products typically not bothersome to me for the last 10 years or so. Prior to that, since 1989, I could not be around perfumes, lawn chemical sprays, laundry detergents and softener fragrance, etc, etc, without getting severe headache, sore throat, nasal passage sores, insomnia. I was afraid that in getting the second dose, I would get even more sick. I have recovered since February 18 dose. I would be willing to get the second dose if I could recover in several weeks. I hope you understand that not recovering means withdrawing from life as I once had to do. I had itching for several hours following the injection, later, a painful lump in my armpit, below the injection site.

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@jmryder

I reacted to the PEG, in my first Pfizer vaccine, with chemical sensitivity to products typically not bothersome to me for the last 10 years or so. Prior to that, since 1989, I could not be around perfumes, lawn chemical sprays, laundry detergents and softener fragrance, etc, etc, without getting severe headache, sore throat, nasal passage sores, insomnia. I was afraid that in getting the second dose, I would get even more sick. I have recovered since February 18 dose. I would be willing to get the second dose if I could recover in several weeks. I hope you understand that not recovering means withdrawing from life as I once had to do. I had itching for several hours following the injection, later, a painful lump in my armpit, below the injection site.

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Hello @jmryder and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sorry to hear that you had a reaction to your first Pfizer vaccine. Many people have reported swollen lymph nodes from the vaccine in their armpit on the injection side. Something that can be beneficial is a lymphatic massage. It is actually very easy to perform on yourself and in 1-3 days you will see improved drainage and circulation speeding up the process. I had an unexplained swollen lymph node a couple months back and used this technique and it helped immensely. I will include a link to a video tutorial in the event that you might need that if you go back for your second dose.

Have you heard of this technique before? Do you feel having some tools in your "toolkit" may help reduce some anxiety about getting your second dose? How can members best support you?

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Yes, thank you. Chemical sensitivity is more than a nuisance, it is crippling and unpredictable.

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