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Some South Carolina patients skipping second COVID vaccine dose

Health officials in South Carolina say they've seen an uptick in reports of patients not getting the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Health officials in South Carolina have encountered a new problem when it comes to the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Some patients aren't showing up for to get their second dose. 

It's not clear why people aren't coming back for their second dose, but one of South Carolina's top public health officials is making it clear that one dose of a two-dose vaccine is like not getting the shot at all.

"If you don't get your second shot you're not fully protected and you're not fully protecting others at the same time," Nick Davidson, South Carolina's deputy of public health, said. 

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Davidson said vaccine providers are reporting to the state that people aren't showing up for their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. "This is very concerning if you received Pfizer or Moderna. You do need to get your second shot. If not, you're not fully vaccinated."

RELATED: VERIFY: If you get COVID-19 between vaccine doses, do you have to start the shots again?

The bailout on appointments comes at a time when the state is experiencing more vaccine availability. It's unclear if there's a direct correlation between vaccine supply and missed appointments. 

RELATED: How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina

With more appointments opening up, state health officials may consider making vaccinations available to all South Carolinians sooner than the target month of May, just like Georgia and Texas. Davidson said the state's priority will be to vaccinate those who are considered high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

"We are watching the availability, and balancing that with the demand, and if we have the opportunity and it makes sense to move on to a phase potentially earlier than expected, then we will potentially consider looking at what a few other states have at least begun to do."

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.

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