DENVER — Millions of Americans are rolling up their sleeves to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC says about 92% of people got their second dose within the recommended timeline. What about the other 5 million people who did not get their second dose?
"Whenever you have a two dose vaccine, you’re going to see people who, for some reason or another — convenience, forgetting, a number of other things — just don’t show up for the second vaccine," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert.
CDPHE says as of Saturday, more than 1.5 million people in Colorado have been fully vaccinated. More than 2.5 million people have gotten their first dose.
To help make sure everyone returns for that second shot, Centura Health is hosting a vaccine clinic at Dick’s Sporting Goods on Thursday with 2,500 appointments.
"That first dose primes you and your body really to have the best antibody response it can have by getting that second dose," said Ozzie Grenardo, family medicine and chief diversity inclusion doctor at Centura Health.
While hesitancy can be a factor, accessibility in certain communities also plays a part.
"I think some people may be worried about the side effects. I think some people may not have had the ability to go to their second dose, or get their second dose or, as you said, they think that by getting their first dose it is good enough," Grenardo said.
That’s why Maisha Fields with the state’s vaccine equity outreach team believes mobile clinics could make it easier for people to get fully vaccinated.
"We’re excited about the mobile clinic. We’re excited about going to where people need services — barbershops, grocery stores, Taco Bells — where we know we have the hardest hit populations of essential workers who often time can’t take work off to get vaccinated," Fields said.
Health officials and community leaders are hoping with these barriers out of the way, getting that lifesaving vaccine will as easy possible.