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Back for seconds? Thousands in Riverside County overdue for 2nd COVID shot

More than 5 million Americans did not get their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It was the second shot Mikki Greiff had been waiting for but instead of relief she was turned away. 

“I told her I had some reaction and right away she went to the head nurse in the facility and the next thing I know they been telling me you will not be getting the second shot," said Greiff.

Greiff said the nurse at the Indio Fairgrounds took her vaccination card and marked it with " swelling and right here she says do not give.” 

Now its been well over 42 days from when she had her first shot, which was on January 31st. 

“I just want to make sure when I am around my grandkids in two weeks that are coming here for Mother’s Day for that kind of thing that I am okay to be around them," said Grieff.

In Riverside County about 48,000 people so far are considered overdue for their second dose thats about 5 percent of patients who received at least one vaccine.

“Some people don't wait for our invitation," said Michael Osur, Assistant Director of Public Health for Riverside County. "Some people go get their second dose without being invited because we have that open approach and you don't need the second dose to be exactly where you've got your first dose. You can get it anywhere. So we started calling.”

The CDC also reporting more than 5 million people are skipping the second dose whether it be out of fear of side effects or scheduling the next appointment. 

“Not getting that second dose when the second dose is called for is putting us further from that finish line of getting to herd immunity," said Dr. Kinji Hawthorne, Director of Infectious Diseases at JFK Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Kinji Hawthorne said there’s a lack urgency as hospitalizations, case rates and deaths decrease. 

As for Greiff's case, we asked Medical Director of Eisenhower Health about her options.

“I would just accept the fact that she has 80% immunity if she had an allergic reaction and it wasn't resolved talking to her doctor and making sure it wasn't related to something else," said Euthym Kontaxis. "I think at this point, she can still get the second shot.” 

Los Angeles County reported on Monday that nearly 278,000 people in the county may be overdue for their second dose, possibly due to concerns about side effects or a belief that one shot is enough.

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Dani Romero

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