9:28 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021
Changes to Covid-19 vaccine dosing won't solve US' problem with rollout, Fauci says
A nurse administers the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to a health care worker at the Hartford Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Monday, January 4.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
The United States doesn't have a problem with the supply of Covid-19 vaccines -- the issue is with the administration of them, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
Changes to vaccine dosing won’t solve that, according to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Right now, we don't have a problem that we need more vaccines,” Fauci said at an event hosted by BlackDoctor.org, an online health resource dedicated to African Americans. He said the problem lies in the effort to “logistically get the vaccine in the arm of people.”
With an eye to speeding up vaccine rollout in the US, some have suggested using half-doses of vaccines or delaying the time between first and second doses.
Second dose: The science shows optimal protection is provided by administering a second dose 21 days after the first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine and 28 days after the first shot of the Moderna vaccine, said Fauci.
Second doses are on hold for people to complete their vaccinations, and some governors have asked the federal government to release those doses so more people can receive a first shot, potentially delaying the second one. Fauci dismissed the idea of letting people wait longer between doses.
“To stretch out, and you don't get your second dose for maybe three or four months -- there's no scientific data that proves that,” Fauci said. “Since we want to maintain our credibility and do things right, according to the science, we want to do it exactly the way it was shown in the clinical trial.”
Some have also suggested using a half dose of the vaccines, to vaccinate more people with some degree of protection. Fauci said this wouldn’t solve the problem either. The US Food and Drug Administration has also rejected that idea.
“You hear a lot about half dose. You hear a lot about extending one dose. Don't be concerned about that,” Fauci added. “Do what's recommended by the FDA.”