(HealthDay News) — More than 1 in 10 Americans have missed their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a troubling trend as the more infectious Delta variant that first crippled India gains a foothold in this country.

Only 88% of those who had received one dose of vaccine and were eligible for their second shot had actually completed the two-dose series, CNN reported. That is down from a 92% completion rate earlier in the year. Studies have shown that the 2-dose vaccines are much less effective against the Delta variant with only one dose of vaccine.

“As this virus has mutated, there are versions of it which are better able to escape some of the immune protection that we get from the vaccine,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, citing research that showed two doses of the Pfizer vaccine offered 88% protection compared with 33% protection after just 1 shot. “The key is, get vaccinated. Get both doses,” Murthy said.

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Adults younger than 30 years were most likely to have missed their second dose, with nearly 12% outside of the 42-day allowable window, CNN reported. Officials have said that adults younger than 26 years are the only group expected to miss the Biden administration goal to vaccinate at least 70% of adults with at least 1 dose by July 4.

And studies from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published this week showed that younger adults lag others in vaccination intent, too. Those in the 30- to 39-year age group were also more likely to miss their second dose, according to the CDC data. But children younger than 18 years were least likely to miss their second dose, with only about 5% outside of the allowable interval, CNN reported.

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