Infectious Disease expert, Anthony Fauci has claimed that the US has decided not to follow the footsteps of the UK and delay the second dose of the COVID19 vaccine, which has been developed by US-based firm Pfizer and German company BioNtech. He has said that the US government will adhere to Pfizer and BioNtech guidelines and will not delay the second doses. The UK’s Chief Medical officers have continued with their plans of delaying the second dose of the vaccine despite a protest from doctors. The delay will make people wait for the vaccine for up to 12 weeks. The UK government has changed its vaccination plan in order to vaccinate more people with the first dose of the vaccine. Fauci has said that clinical trials have confirmed that the second dose of Pfizer vaccine needs to be given 21 days after the first dose and the second dose of Moderna vaccine needs to be given after 28 days. He has made his stand clear that he is not in favor of stretching out the doses.
Pfizer and BioNtech as well have said that two doses of the vaccine are essential to achieve maximum protection against COVID19. The companies have expressed their concern that they are not sure whether the first dose of the vaccine will be able to protect the patients against COVID19 after three weeks. Experts have said that the new plan of the vaccination drive will apply to people who have been waiting for the second dose of the Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine after 4 January. As per the report, people who are getting the first dose of the recently approved Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine as well will have to wait up to 12 weeks.
The Chief Medical officer of England Chris Whitty and his counterparts in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have said that they will stand by the decision to postpone the second dose of the vaccine to ensure that more people are able to receive their first dose of the vaccine. Chris Whitty has said that they need to adhere to public health guidelines as fast as possible to fight against the COVID19 pandemic, which has become rampant across the country. He has said that he believes that people will support the decision made by the authorities. The UK has been fighting with the new variant of COVID19, which has led to surging cases across the country. Experts have said that the new variant has been 56 percent more contagious than the original strain of the virus. However, it might not make people fall severely ill.