Why Use Two Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines When One Works Almost as Well?
With the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine already cleared and the Moderna vaccine soon to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), COVID-19 relief finally seems to be on the way. There remains the issue of distribution, and as it stands, rollout will not be completed until summer. But Duke data scientist Zeynep Tufekci and Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina point out in a recent New York Times op-ed that changing the vaccines from a two-dose to a one-shot regimen would double the number of Americans who could be vaccinated soon, all without losing a significant amount of protection against COVID-19 infection.
Tufekci and Mina note that infections dropped off steeply after two weeks among the participants in clinical trials who were inoculated with the first dose of the vaccines. Preliminary data from the Pfizer/BioNTech trial suggested that the vaccine efficacy for the prevention of COVID-19 was 82 percent after the first dose. Efficacy against severe COVID-19 occurring after the first dose was 88.9 percent. In comparison, the two-dose regimen is 95 percent effective against infection.
The Moderna vaccine, according to preliminary clinical trial data, provides substantial protection afte
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