Fauci says US plans to allow more Americans to get first dose of Covid-19 vaccine with modified approach

Topline

Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the government’s top infectious disease experts, told NBC Today’s show The United States is considering changing its current Covid-19 vaccination protocols to dramatically increase the number of Americans vaccinated on Thursday, as the country falls behind on its vaccination goals and the United States desperately tries to ” stem the outbreak of the virus that has killed more than 7,400 people in the past two days.

Highlights

As part of its current plan, the government is withholding enough quantities of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – both of which require two doses – so that people who received their initial injection can receive a second booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine 21 days longer. late and a second Moderna fired 28 days later.

The UK on Wednesday approved the use of its second Covid-19 vaccine – the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – and announced it would give the first dose to as many people as possible, rather than withhold some of the supply to administer quickly second. blows.

The UK government has said some people will wait up to 12 weeks before receiving their second injection.

On Thursday, Fauci became the first senior US health official to proclaim that a similar change in strategy is “under consideration” in the United States, although he expressed concern about a mismatch between doses.

It comes as the New York Times reports that logistical problems and staffing shortages across the country are causing delays in vaccine administration, with the United States well below its goal of inoculating 20 million Americans by 2021.

Crucial quote:

“There is a lot of talk about whether or not you want to expand the initial vaccination by getting more people vaccinated in the first round,” Fauci said. “You can argue either way about this.” He later added: “But you can argue, and some people are, about expanding the doses by giving just one dose in all areas and hoping you get the second dose in time to give it.” to individuals.

Key context:

The United States on Wednesday reported a record 3,744 new coronavirus deaths, the highest total in one day since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the previous record of 3,725 deaths set a day earlier. The number of Americans currently hospitalized (125,220) is also at an all time high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.8 million Americans received the first dose of the vaccine, despite the distribution of 14 million. In early December, government officials said they would have 40 million doses this month, which would be enough to fully immunize 20 million Americans by the end of the year. Fauci said Thursday it was “disappointing” that less than 3 million shots were administered. Regarding the staggering of the first doses of the vaccine in the future, Mr Fauci said, “One of the problems is that if you don’t get the second dose on time, you are going to have a. lag period. know from the clinical trial that the optimal time is to give it one day, then, for Moderna 28 days later, and for Pfizer 21 days later… This is what the data tells us, this is the best way to do it, “Fauci continued,” so if you want to stick to data, this is the way you have to do it. “

To monitor:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday the city has set a goal of vaccinating 1 million residents in January. As of Thursday, less than 89,000 doses had been administered. “This thing isn’t moving like it should in the United States,” de Blasio said. “New York is going to show that we can jumpstart this and vaccinate people at an all-time high. And we want to see the whole country be a part of it because we have to go faster to fight the coronavirus if we want to recover from it. . “

Tangent:

Fauci also addressed the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus in the United States (one case in California and two in Colorado). Due to its spread throughout the UK, where it appeared, it was “inevitable” that it would arrive in the United States, Fauci said. “You will hear reports from other states and other cases in the state that are already being reported. Unfortunately, this is only the reality of how these viruses are spread,” he added. While the new variant is “more efficient at spreading person-to-person,” Fauci noted that “the good news is that it doesn’t appear to be more virulent” and “doesn’t appear to escape protection. offered by the vaccines that are currently in use. “

Further reading:

UK approves AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, with first doses rolling out next week (Forbes)

Fauci says distribution of first doses of Covid-19 vaccine to more people is ‘being considered’ (CNN)

United States Breaks Covid-19 Death Record Again (Forbes)

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