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State says 1.2 million Texans have skipped second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

A U.K. study found the Pfizer vaccine is 33% effective against the Delta variant for people who only receive one dose as opposed to 88% effective after two doses.

HOUSTON — There’s a lot to celebrate this Fourth of July as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain at an all-time low.

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But it isn’t all good news. The number of people skipping the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has grown.

“We have a large percent – 10% of the people in the community here in Houston – who got their first shot and didn’t get their second shot,” said Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department.

HHD data shows 147,787 people were overdue for their second dose as of May 28.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says 8.9% of Texans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine skipped their second shot as of June 27, which is more than 1.2 million people.

“That’s not good,” Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health, said. “It looks like our vaccines, after the first dose, don’t work well at all against Delta, so that second dose is critical.”

A U.K. study found the Pfizer vaccine is 33% effective against the Delta variant for people who only receive one dose, and 88% effective after two doses.

RELATED: Delta coronavirus variant is spreading throughout Houston, wastewater sampling shows

Jetelina said the Delta variant is the most contagious version of the virus so far and it is in Houston. She urges people to stick to the recommended shot schedule. However, if you’re already overdue, getting both doses is key no matter how long you wait in between.