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LSU Health Shreveport professor explains why second shot is critical for COVID-19 protection

Local

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concerning amount of Americans are skipping their second COVID-19 vaccination.

An estimated 5 million people received one dose of their vaccination, but did not go back to receive the second dose. NBC 6 is digging deeper to find out why this is happening.

“I don’t think all the cases of hesitancy of the second shot is necessarily someone ignoring it because they don’t want to do it, some of it is timing, some of it is work schedules,” said Dr. Andrew Yurochko, professor of microbiology and immunology at LSU Health Shreveport.

“Why the second shot is so important, is the first one gives you a good response, the second one is better, and the third one gets even better and better and better. And so it just primes your immune response,” Yurochko said. “We’ve known this for all the history of immunology.”

It is not yet known how long the effectiveness of the vaccine lasts, but booster shots are expected to be necessary to continue protection.

This week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards expressed concern about a potential surge in cases after Mother’s Day weekend. Dr. Yurochko recommends to follow the same guidelines

“Outdoor parties are fairly safe, unless you’re obviously right onto of each other. And there’s no reason you can’t have windows open and just good airflow,” said Yurochko.

“And again, I’m not going to tell anyone not to have fun on Mother’s Day but I think it’s common sense outdoor parties outdoor meals, if the weather is nice, that’s fantastic.”

Governor Edwards says although more than 30 percent of the state is vaccinated, he still wants more Louisianans to get their shot.

Residents can now use the LA wallet app to have a digital version of their vaccination card.

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