US Considers New Strategy on Vaccinations

It may give people half the dose of Moderna's vaccine to increase numbers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2021 8:10 AM CST
US Considers New Strategy on Vaccinations
In this Dec. 21 file photo, Arlene Ramirez, director of patient care at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Valley Stream, N.Y.   (Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP, File)

The US is well behind its stated goal on COVID vaccinations, and federal authorities will consider a new strategy this week to improve the numbers. The idea is to give people half the dose of the Moderna vaccine in order to double the number of recipients who could get it, reports Reuters. The FDA will meet this week to consider the idea, which would apply to people in the 18 to 55 age group, per CNN. The head of the government's Warp Speed vaccination program made the case for the plan Sunday, saying that evidence suggested the half-dose provides an "identical immune response" to the full dose.

“And therefore, we are in discussions with Moderna and with the FDA—of course ultimately it will be an FDA decision—to accelerate injecting half the volume,” said Moncef Slaoui on CBS' Face the Nation. People would still need two shots, but each shot would be halved in terms of dosage. About 4 million Americans have been vaccinated so far, but the US hoped the figure would be more than 20 million by now, reports Politico. The development comes as the US has eclipsed 350,000 confirmed deaths. (Though President Trump thinks the figure is bogus.)

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