Researchers Suggest that the First Dose of Covid-19 Should be available for all – the FDA has However Remained ReluctantFebruary 15, 2021
All medics and other stakeholders are in agreement that Covid-19 vaccines are not enough for the entire U.S. population. The main disagreement currently is on how the available vaccines will be used. America has been experiencing a rising number of infections and even worse, is the threat of the variant SARS-CoV-2 that is highly transmissible.
Researchers have advised that the available two-dose mRNA vaccine treatment should be given to all people as can be possible and not only those at high risk. They argue that with such an approach, there will be more people with a level of protection against the virus. This is an idea that has so far gained more support especially from policymakers and researchers.
While supporting this idea, chairman of the Department of Medicine at UCSF, Bob Wachter said that he was against the idea. However, he added that the current situation made him change his mind. He says that the second dose of the vaccine should be delayed and he is not alone. There is also support for the same with the reason being that giving the vaccine to many people is much better.
It is, however, unclear about the level of immunity that is provided by each dose of the Moderna mRNA vaccine of the Pfizer-BioNTech. This is the main reason for the great stand off even with reports showing that the vaccines, after two doses, are effective by 95% in preventing infection. From the two trials, results showed that it took about two weeks for those who got the first dose to be safe from infection. This shows that the first dose is already more than 50% effective on its own. What is unclear is how long the protection offered by the vaccine is likely to last.
Researchers and the FDA are among those who are reluctant to support the plan to use the first-dose. They have cited the reason for their reluctance as the unclear evidence about the level of protection the vaccines offer.
Even though anecdotes cannot be considered as data, it is important to take caution. Rep. Brady and Rep. of Congress both tested positive for Covid-19 even after receiving their first dose. They are not the only ones despite the fact that clear statistics are unavailable. The FDA had, earlier this month, given a statement on the growing concerns about the lack of enough evidence on how effective each dose of the vaccines is. According to the statement, there is need for more time to get the fact right.
Speaking to Forbes, a number of scientists stressed that the evidence is till unclear and that there is need for the second dose. Another reason for the delay in the second dose is that a dose of the vaccine could result in new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are worse than the current Covid-19 strains. Being partially immune, according to Hensley, does not prevent the virus from reoccurring and even worse is that the virus may reoccur in a way that it resists the vaccine in future. There is, therefore, need for two doses of the vaccine to ensure maximum protection against Corona, according to Moderna.