Scientists Skeptical of Foregoing Second Vaccine Dose

NEW YORK -
State-FEMA community-based vaccination site opens in Albany. (Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo).

As some politicians and leaders suggest stretching limited coronavirus vaccine supplies by delaying or even foregoing the second shot of the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, scientists are pushing back.

They note there is simply not enough evidence to suggest that cutting the dosage in half can provide the same protection, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“It is essential that these vaccines be used as authorized by FDA in order to prevent Covid-19 and related hospitalizations and death,” said Peter Marks, the director of the Food and Drug Administration’s center that oversees vaccines.

In an open letter to acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran, seven members of Congress with medical degrees suggested the country prioritize speed rather than completing the vaccine regime, in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

Senior scientists in the government responded that with the risk of mutated strains, it is even more vital to ensure that everyone who is vaccinated is given as much protection as possible against the virus, and there is not enough evidence to indicate a single Pfizer or Moderna shot can do that.

“We’ve got information on a two-dose strategy,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, the FDA advisory panel’s chairman and public health doctor at the University of Michigan. “We need high antibody levels from those doses to deal with the variants.”

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smarcus@hamodia.com