Nearly 4.6 million Americans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, signaling a potential end to the pandemic in the not-too-distant future. However, with the country falling short of the goal of having 20 million vaccines given by the end of the 2020, there may be a major change in how the vaccine is administered: the U.S. government may only provide one of the two vaccine doses to certain individuals. Read on to discover if you may be affected by this decision, and if you're worried about your COVID risk, This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
In an interview with Face the Nation on Jan. 3, Operation Warp Speed Chief Advisor Moncef Slaoui, PhD, said that, in an effort to get the most people vaccinated and achieve herd immunity in the shortest amount of time with the limited number of vaccines currently available, U.S. officials are in talks with both vaccine manufacturer Moderna and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to potentially give certain individuals just half the recommended dose of Moderna's COVID vaccine.
"We know that for the Moderna vaccine, giving half of the dose to people between the ages of 18 and 55, two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunizing double the number of people with the doses we have," said Slaoui.
Slaoui went on to explain that the modified dosage "induces identical immune response to the hundred microgram dose" that people get when they receive two doses of the vaccine, adding that the FDA will have final approval over whether or not the vaccine can be administered in half-doses.
While Slaoui said that the potential changes to the vaccine administration plan were "a more responsible approach that would be based on facts and data," not all public health experts are on board. In an interview with Today, Anthony Fauci, MD, expressed hesitance to halve the doses. "We know from the clinical trial that the optimal time is to give it on one day and then for Moderna, 28 days later, and for Pfizer, 21 days later," Fauci said. "That's what the data tells us is the best way to do it, so if you want to stick with the data, that's the way you should do it." Read on for insight into where the COVID vaccine is being rolled out the slowest, as of Jan. 4, according to the CDC. And if you're wondering where cases are surging, Dr. Fauci Just Said He's Worried About This One State.
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