New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy

New research supports delaying the second dose of coronavirus vaccines.
Why It Matters: Most Americans at risk will remain unvaccinated well into March, when experts predict the more infectious variant of the virus, first found in the UK, could dominate the US.
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Derz Dolguları | Weber
Derz dolgularında geniş ürün portföyüne sahip olan weber, tüm seramik uygulamalarınızda farklı ve güvenilir çözümler sunar.
In numbers: Around 41% of adults aged 65 and over were vaccinated with KFF. Millions more Americans with underlying health conditions remain susceptible to serious illness.
The news is driving: An analysis of the actual results of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel published earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine found the vaccine to be 60% effective on documented coronavirus infection 21 to 27 days after the vaccine prevented first dose and 92% effective 7 or more days after the second dose.
However, one shot was far more effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization over the same period, with 80% and 78% effectiveness, respectively. Two doses were 92% effective in preventing major illness and 87% effective in preventing hospitalization.
An analysis published in The Lancet des AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet approved for use in the US, found that a longer interval between doses actually offered more protection than a shorter interval.
And a growing body of research suggests that people previously infected with COVID are adequately protected by just one dose per NYT.
The Food and Drug Administration released its results this week on the effectiveness of Johnson and Johnson's one-time vaccine, which increased over time.
After 28 days, the shot was 85.9% effective in preventing major diseases in the United States.
What They Say: There is enough data now to support delaying the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to give more people more protection, faster.
And the variant makes this urgent, argues a group of public health experts in a white paper released this week calling on the FDA and CDC to review the data.
"There is a tight and rapidly closing window of opportunity to use vaccines more effectively and potentially prevent thousands of severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the next few weeks and months," said the article published by the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and politics, argued.
The authors suggest giving priority to vaccines to people aged 65 and over, postponing the second dose until after the virus surge predicted, postponing the second dose for those with confirmed previous COVID infections, and allowing the use of half doses of the Moderna vaccine authorize.
The other side: Scottish researchers preprinted a study suggesting that single-dose protection might decrease after five weeks, Insider reports.
"I think it's a mistake to postpone the second dose for a long time," Paul Offit, director of the vaccine education center at Philadelphia Children's Hospital, told Insider.
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