ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the Erie County Department of Health continues its push to get people into vaccination clinics for their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, local health experts say it’s just as important to make sure you follow through on your second vaccine dose.
They say that’s because it’s the one that will protect you from the virus.
Dr. Tim Murphy from U.B.’s Jacobs School of Medicine said, “What the first dose does, is it primes the immune system. It teaches it how to make an immune response to the spike protein and the second dose is the one that boosts and that’s what gives the high level and long-lasting protection.”
Murphy says the second dose is especially important to protect against the variants.
“It’s important to realize that most of the new infections that are occurring in Erie County are the UK variant the B117 variant. The vaccines are very effective against that variant, but having that second dose is going to serve people well in terms of potential new variants that come into the community.”
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require a buffer of a few weeks before you get the second shot.
If you’ve forgotten or somehow missed it — doctors say, it’s not too late you can still get vaccinated.
More information on that clinic and others, click here.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.