Fauci says the US won't change its vaccine strategy to delay 2nd doses, unlike countries like the UK
Anthony Faucijustified the US vaccine strategy in an interview Monday.
- He said officials would stick with the recommended schedules for time between doses.
- Some nations, like the UK, are delaying second doses to ensure more people get some protection.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US won't delay giving second
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Monday that the US would give second vaccine doses in the time frames recommended by the vaccines' makers.The case for delaying second doses is that it allows for a faster rollout of first doses, which could give more people partial protection at the expense of fully vaccinating each person as fast as possible.
Fauci acknowledged "risks on either side" when considering whether to delay.He also said, however, that publicly reversing the US strategy could discourage some people from getting vaccinated at all.
"We're telling people [two shots] is what you should do … and then we say, 'Oops, we changed our mind'?" Fauci told The Post. "I think that would be a messaging challenge, to say the least."But he was not critical of the UK's strategy, which has prioritized first doses of vaccines for as many people as possible, with second doses being given about 12 weeks after the first. He said he spoke with health officials in the UK and understood it. "We both agreed that both of our approaches were quite reasonable," he said.
Regulators in the UK and the US have given the green light to different vaccines.
Both have signed off on the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The US over the weekend authorized Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot, while the UK has approved the two-dose Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.Early data suggests the vaccines used in the UK have been highly effective after one dose.
Public Health England said this week that a single shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines had been more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalization of people over age 80 roughly three to four weeks after one dose, though it's unclear just how long that level of protection will last.
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