CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With around half of all people in Nueces County still unvaccinated against COVID-19, there's a new trend developing statewide -- people skipping the second dose of the two vaccines that require two doses.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that just shy of two million Texans are due for their second shot, with more than half of them more than three months past their due date.
That's a concern for health leaders.
"With Delta variant (of COVID-19) still prevalent in the state, the protection afforded by two doses of the vaccine is critical to help slow new, and especially, severe cases," DSHS Press Officer Douglas Loveday said in an email.
Two fully-vaccinated Corpus Christi residents were quick to join the state in urging people who have taken the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to finish the regimen.
"If you got the first one, get the second one," Cindy Reyes said. "Be safe. It’s a matter of life and death.”
Robin Waters' advice was more practical.
“If you got the first one, you might as well get the second one, unless they had problems with the first one," she said.
But some Corpus Christi residents such as Felicita Connor remain among the unvaccinated, afraid of experiencing possible side effects.
She has concerns about even getting one shot, including what kinds of long-term health impacts the vaccine could have.
But if she decides to eventually get the vaccine, she plans to go all the way.
“They need to (get the second dose) if they got the first one -- more protection,” Connor said.
In hopes of getting more people to take that advice, DSHS has implemented a new system recently.
"DSHS began sending text reminders last week to Texans due for their second dose," Loveday said in his email.