Houston healthcare workers get second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As of Tuesday, some hospital workers in Texas are fully vaccinated from COVID-19.

Healthcare workers received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine this morning.

States across the U.S. are reporting only 30% of vaccines have been distributed so far, which is far behind where we wanted to be at this time.

The FDA is saying very clearly, do not change anything about the approved dosing process for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Medical experts like Dr. Peter Hotez complained publically Wednesday at the slow rate of vaccinations against COVID-19.

The demand for the vaccine is growing. After thousands of seniors camped overnight to receive their vaccine and then were turned away, the Florida governor said hospitals that were not efficient in getting the vaccine out would have their allocations transferred to a different hospital.

In New York, the governor threatened a $100,000 fine to hospitals that can't keep up.

You may be wondering why you need both doses in order to be fully protected.

When it comes to your immune system, it needs to be told twice what to do. First you teach it how to protect you, then you remind it to finish protecting you.

The first dose trains your body to make antibodies to fight COVID-19, but you need that second dose in the correct amount of time to boost you to 95% immunity.

For Pfizer, the interval is 21 days between the first and second dose. For Moderna, the interval is 28 days.

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As the new coronavirus variant spreads in the United Kingdom, health officials abroad have decided to extend the time between doses in order to vaccinate more people, more quickly. Now, doctors in the U.S. are discussing this, but not everyone agrees.

"I know that there's been a push in some places to, you know, stop giving the second shot to the people, to the the medical community, and to just distribute more first shots," Dr. Edgar Garcia said. "But the problem is, if it's not effective, then you're not doing anything. You're just muddying the waters. What you need to do is, you need to start taking numbers off. You need to start making people immune. You need to start, you know, lowering the the number of active cases."

Since there is no data if a half-dose or a delayed dose of the vaccine would even work, the FDA says not sticking to the original schedule could place public health even more at risk.

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SEE ALSO: Here's a list of how the Moderna & Pfizer vaccines compare
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ABC13 has some answers regarding how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines compare. Here's what we know.

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