Coronavirus US News on January 23, 2021: CDC Updates Vaccination Information
According to the CDC, the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could be given up to 6 weeks after the agency updated its guidance on how long people can wait to get the second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Anthony Fauci, America's leading epidemiologist, cautions it's risky.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on how long people can wait between the first and second doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
"If the second dose cannot be scheduled within the recommended timeframe (21 days after the first dose of Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna), people can wait up to 6 weeks in rare situations,” The CDC noted in a recently released update.
However, they detailed that "the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible." If it is not possible to meet the recommended interval, the second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19 can be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks -42 days- after the first dose, " they pointed out.
In this sense, the principal American epidemiologist and special adviser on coronavirus matters to the new president Joe Biden, doctor Anthony Fauci, on several occasions advised against this strategy. However, this Friday, he told CNN: “In what the CDC says, particular situations are taken into account in which it is very difficult to reach exactly 21 or 28 days. So we are saying that you can probably do it six weeks after the first application, that is, two more weeks. Frankly, immunologically, I don't think that's going to make a big difference."
Before this and at a briefing at the White House on Thursday, the first since November, Fauci said experts were particularly concerned about new variants of the virus in South Africa and Brazil, which have yet to reach the United States. He said the vaccines still seemed effective against those variants. Still, the variants could bypass the immune system to some extent, making it even more urgent for people to get vaccinated.
"Viruses that replicate don't mutate unless they replicate," he added, "and if you can suppress that with a very good vaccine campaign, then you can avoid this deleterious effect that you could get from mutations."
The United States' main epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases of the United States (NIAID, in English), spoke this January 21, 2021, the White House.
Even during Trump's administration, the official had repeated ad nauseam on different occasions the importance of respecting the established vaccination guidelines. He warned that people would be "taking chances" if they follow the new CDC guidelines.
“They are taking risks. Data from clinical trials showed that in Moderna's trial, you should get the boost 28 days after the prime time, and with Pfizer, it's 21; this is where the data shows that it is the optimal effect, and at that time, the second dose should be given.”
The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is intended to be given within 21 days of the first (REUTERS / Dado Ruvic)
There is limited information on how well vaccines work outside of that time frame, the CDC said. If the second dose is given after 6 weeks, it is not necessary to restart the series.
From CNN, it was said that the new CDC guide "seems to clarify the previous language that said that 'there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for any of the vaccines."
The guidance is significant because the CDC had advised states not to withhold vaccines for second injections so that a maximum number of people can receive the first dose. Jurisdictions are adding vaccination sites as they complain about vaccine shortages.
The vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson requires only one injection, which would provide a logistical advantage over two-injection vaccines (REUTERS)
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the only vaccines given in the United States at this time. Both inoculants use two injections of messenger RNA (mRNA) to create an immune response against the coronavirus. People should receive both doses of the same vaccine, says the CDC.
Other COVID vaccines in clinical trials, such as the one being developed by Johnson & Johnson, require only one injection, which would provide a logistical advantage over two-injection vaccines.
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