x
Breaking News
More () »

EXPLAINER: Why you need 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine

Full protection from COVID-19 is only able once a patient receives two shots.

The Local 5 inbox is full with questions from you about the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Health care workers in Iowa got their first of two doses of the vaccine on Monday.

That's right: they're not done with the shots.

With the soon-to-be-approved Moderna vaccine and the already-approved Pfizer vaccines, both require the patient to get two doses for full protection.

It's because the double dose is what is necessary to evoke a very strong immune response that is going to last you for months with this particular vaccine.

RELATED: Iowa vaccine panel will keep meetings closed to the public

RELATED: CDC to use text message tool to track COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Scientists who study this stuff are pouring over the data from the Pfizer trials.

If you forget to get your second dose in the designated three-to-four week timeframe, you're still likely going to get the booster effect. 

"But without getting the booster, your immunity from this vaccine will likely be a shorter duration," Dr. David Verhoeven with Iowa State University said.

And experts say: get used to getting the COVID vaccine.

"Based on the way this is rolling out and the fact that we can't immunize young children yet because it's not approved and they're still going to carry it ... we're going to have a lot of people that may not choose to get vaccinated," Verhoeven said. "This virus isn't going to go away. So we're probably looking at getting this vaccine for quite a while."

WATCH: Top 10 questions about the coronavirus vaccine, answered