Jun 23, 2021 - News
Colorado using text, email to nudge people who skipped second vaccine
Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Colorado public health officials are raising alarms about a new vaccine hesitant population — the half-vaxxers.

By the numbers: 129,000 people who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are overdue for their second shot, state officials tell Axios.

  • It's about 4% of the 2.9 million who received one dose, below estimated national averages for missed second doses.

Why it matters: The rapid spread of the B.1.617 (Delta) variant first discovered in India is making the second dose "more important now than ever before," state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said Monday.

  • Colorado has the second-highest proportion of the variant in the nation and the fifth-highest positivity rate for COVID-19 cases generally.
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Threat level: It is 50% more transmissible than the B.1.1.7 variant detected in the U.K.

  • The risk of hospitalization is double.
  • And the vaccine is less effective, 88% compared to 93% for the Pfizer version, state officials said.

Of note: That's still highly effective.

What's happening: Public health officials are sending reminder texts and emails to people ages 18 to 29 who missed their second shot.

Zoom in: In Denver, 5% are past due for a second shot, but in contrast with the state, local public officials downplayed the issue, saying the priority is getting people to get at least one dose.

Between the lines: A Magellan Strategies poll released this week shows that 11% of Colorado adults don't think they need the vaccine because they are not high-risk and don't think it's beneficial.

Be smart: You can get the second dose as late as 42 days — or six weeks — after the first one and it's still effective.

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