U.S. Considers Halving Dose Of Moderna Vaccine To Speed Up Rollout

By Bill Galluccio

January 4, 2021

US-VACCINE-VIRUS

Federal officials are discussing a plan to cut the dosage for Moderna's coronavirus vaccine in half to help speed up the rollout of the vaccine.

"We know that for the Moderna vaccine giving half the dose for people between the ages of 18 to 55 — two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunizing double the number of people with the doses we have — we know it induces identical immune response to the 100 microgram dose," Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, told Face the Nation. "And therefore, we are in discussions with Moderna and with the FDA — of course, ultimately it will be an FDA decision — to accelerate injecting half the volume."

The vaccine will still require two doses for full immunization. Officials believe giving half of a dose now and a full dose at a later date could help get more people vaccinated while they wait for pharmaceutical companies to produce more vaccines.

So far, four million Americans have received their first injection, far below the goal of 20 million by the end of 2020. The CDC has shipped 13 million doses to states. In order to achieve herd immunity, about 80 percent of the population must get vaccinated.

The FDA has not commented on whether it will approve the plan to halve the dosage of Moderna's vaccine. 

Photo: Getty Images

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