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Debate simmers over spreading out shots for two-dose vaccines

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 12:14 PM CST
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(CNN) – With a scarcity of vaccines and an eye toward protecting as many Americans as possible, the first two vaccines approved in the United States are now at the center of a debate.

Would it be better for more people to get single doses of the two-dose vaccines or fewer folks get both?

“What we know is what the science shows for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine,” said Dr. Richina Bicette, medical director at the Baylor College of Medicine. “In order to be fully protected, you need to get at least two doses.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. It says two doses offer better protection from coronavirus variants which are believed to be more contagious.

But Dr. Jerome Adams, the surgeon general under President Trump, sees it differently.

“Good protection for many (w/ 1 shot) is better than great protection for a few,” Adams tweeted. “2000 people a day are dying because they can’t get a 1st #covid19 shot- not because they can’t get a 2nd.”

Later he clarified his statement.

“I’m not saying it’s 100% the right way to go. I’m saying there’s enough data/ evidence to suggest it’s not 100% the wrong way to go.”

As vaccinations across the country continue, CDC advisors are mixed on whether those who have recovered from a coronavirus infection should just get a single dose, stretching vaccine supplies and making the vaccination process easier.

Some experts say the natural infection could act as a first dose, but so far the CDC policy is to give everyone two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at the recommended intervals.

The CDC is expected to release guidance later this week for people who have been fully vaccinated, including recommendations for social interactions and travel.

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