The United States government may change its COVID-19 vaccination strategy to inoculate as many people as possible in a short period of time. Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, told CBS on Sunday that they may give the first of Moderna's two-dose vaccine to as many people as possible in order to speed up the vaccination process.
Slaoui said that they are in talks with Moderna and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency which will take the final call on whether to give the first half of the vaccine to as many Americans as possible before injecting them with the second dose. The decision is important because it will likely impact the 21 days deadline between each dose of vaccine.
However, Slaoui warned against the move saying it may be a mistake because it goes against the data. Earlier, top American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci also expressed similar concern regarding the strategy, saying it would mean going against the science. The US government is facing a lot of criticism for not reaching its goal of vaccinating at least 20 million people before the end of 2020.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American citizens received just over 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and Canada have already adopted the strategy to speed up the vaccination in the country. The decision in the UK came after the British health and medicine regulatory body approved the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine on December 30. The UK started inoculating its population three weeks ago after approving the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based two-shot vaccine, which requires a gap of 21 days between each jab.