The head of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine program said Sunday that health officials are exploring the idea of giving a major group of Americans half volume doses of one vaccine to accelerate the rollout.
Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that one way to speed up immunizations against COVID-19 was to give two half-volume doses of the Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccine to some individuals.
“We know that for the Moderna vaccine giving half the dose for people between the ages of 18 to 55 — two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunizing double the number of people with the doses we have — we know it induces identical immune response to the 100-microgram dose,” Slaoui said.
“And therefore, we are in discussions with Moderna and with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — of course, ultimately it will be an FDA decision — to accelerate injecting half the volume,” he added.
The comments came in response to a question about why the U.S. was not using the strategy of administering all available doses of vaccines now, even though the approved vaccines require a second round of shots to be fully effective. The United Kingdom has adopted this approach, with the hope that continued production will allow the second shots to be given in the future.
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