Should We Give Everyone 1 COVID Vaccine Dose Before Some Get Two?
Should vaccination focus on delivering only first shots?
What's the story?
- Despite Pfizer's and Moderna's best efforts, demand for COVID-19 vaccines is far outpacing supplies.
- While both vaccines require two doses for maximum efficiency, some scientists have proposed holding off on the second booster shot until more people have had their initial dose.
Would this work?
- Technically, a one-shot dose of either Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccine isn't approved by the FDA.
- Both companies tested two-shot vaccines to get the highest odds of success: a two-shot product was what the FDA reviewed and ultimately approved.
- It's unknown how protective a single shot of the vaccine would be. In late December, a Moderna spokesperson told The Hill that the company expects that double doses produce the most durable immunity.
- In its application for emergency use authorization in the U.S., Moderna reported a 51% protection rate two weeks after the first shot and 94% two weeks after the first shot.
- Immunologists, however, say that there can be some wiggle room between the 21-day and 28-day intervals prescribed for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, respectively.
- At a White House press conference, new CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky said:
"We also know that life can get in the way — that some of those doses may be missed. ... In these rare circumstances, the second dose may be given up to six weeks or 42 days after the first."
- The U.K. is already experimenting with stretching out the time between doses. Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is allowing for a 12-week gap between doses for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Sound off: Should the U.S. vaccinate everyone with one dose before some people get a second?
(Image Credit: iStockphoto.com / Courtney Hale)
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