The United States must adhere to a two-dose strategy for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. chief infectious disease official Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post newspaper.
Fauci said a delay in a second dose to include more Americans creates risks.
He warned that a move to a one-dose strategy for the vaccines could leave people less immune, allow changes to spread and possibly inspire vigor among Americans who were already struggling to gain the momentum.
“There are risks on both sides,” Fauci was quoted as saying by the Washington Post in a report published late Monday.
“We tell people (two perspectives) what you should do … and then we say, ‘Oops, we changed our minds’?” Fauci said. “I think that would be a message challenge, at least.”
He said he spoke to UK health officials on Monday who have opted to delay second doses to better benefit more people. Fauci said strategy would not make sense in the United States.
He said the science does not support delaying a second dose for these vaccines, citing research that a two-dose regimen creates enough protection to help reduce changes of the coronavirus which is more portable, but one picture could leave Americans at risk from changes like the one first discovered in South Africa.
“You don’t know how sustainable that defense is,” he said.
Fauci said Sunday that he was urging Americans to adopt any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, including a new Johnson & Johnson pill.
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 single-dose vaccine was authorized by the U.S. government on Saturday, making it the third most available in the country after those from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna that require two doses.
COVID-19 has claimed over half a million lives in the United States, and states are shouting for more doses to prevent cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
(Except the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published from syndicated food.)