Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Thursday, that spreading out the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine to more people is "under consideration."
The Pfizer shot requires a second dose 21 days later and the Moderna shot requires a second dose 28 days later. Currently, those second doses have been held back by the federal government, so they will be available and administered when they are needed to provide those second doses.
What's under consideration is dispensing those doses now, to vaccinate more people with their first shot. But there is risk involved. By not initially holding back the second doses, more vaccine doses will need to be produced and distributed by the time the required second doses are needed.
“I still think, if done properly, you can do a single dose, reserve doses for the second dose, and still get the job done,” he said on NBC’s the Today Show, “but there’s a lot of discussion about whether or not you want to spread out the initial vaccination by getting more people vaccinated on the first round.”
Fauci said it could be debated either way, but one of the problems with doing it would be if a person didn’t get the second dose in time and there is a lag period.
He said that it’s known from the clinical trials “the optimal time is to give it on one day and then for Moderna 28 days later and for Pfizer 21 days later, that’s what the data tells us is the best way to do it.”
If you want to stick with the data, that’s how it should be done, he said, “but you can make an argument, and some people are, about stretching out the doses by giving a single dose across the board and hoping you’re going to get the second dose in time to give to individuals.”
Here's a look at how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines compare.