VAX: “F.D.A.’s guidelines for second doses is misguided.”

That’s the conclusion drawn by a couple of docs who specialize in infectious diseases and vaccinology.
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I somewhat subconsciously wrote in last week’s J&J post:

Keeping things in perspective, 70% effectiveness is greater than zero greater than most vaccines that have ever been deployed for other infections… and, roughly the same as the first-dose-only effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine.

On the last point re: Moderna, a loyal reader asked: “Really?”

So, I went back and rechecked my sources.

Turns out, my memory inadvertently lowballed the Moderna 1-dose effectiveness:

According to a document that Moderna submitted to the FDA, the company’s vaccine can provide 80.2% protection after one dose, compared to 95.6% after the second (in people aged 18 to 65) and 86.4% (in those over 65). Source

That doesn’t change my conclusion re: the J&J vaccine … but it did get me thinking.

Then, boom … I spotted a NY Times article headlined:

America’s overly prudent vaccination strategy is killing people.

That certainly caught my eye …

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The two doctors — who specialize in infectious diseases and vaccinology — argue:

More lives would be saved by

(a) Providing just one dose of vaccine as soon as possible…

(b) To all people who face the highest risk of dying from Covid-19, whatever the reason (advanced age, other medical conditions, severe obesity), and

(c) And, just forgetting about any boosters for a while, maybe even a very long while.

The big idea: Second doses should be deferred for however long it takes to achieve the primary goal — getting life-saving doses to whoever needs them.

Of course critics (think: Tony Fauci our already twice vaccinated Chief Political Scientist) are quick to point out that neither a single-dose nor a delayed 2nd dose strategy have been adequately tested … so we’d be “gambling with people’s lives.”

But, the advocates point out that varying from the vaccination script has been done in the past to battle other infectious diseases.

And, the math works in their favor: Having 100% of a group protected 70% (expected value = 70%) is better than having 50% of a group protected 95% (expected value = 47.5%) … especially if the 2nd shot is eventually given … and can be expedited for the most vulnerable cases.

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The J&J Effect

Keep in mind that the J&J vaccine is 1-shot with about 70% effectiveness.

I expect that Fauci & Friends will be aggressively selling the benefits of the J&J vaccine in the next few weeks.

When they do, a logical question to ask is: ”Why not 1-shots of Moderna that are 80% effective?

I think my chances of bagging a vax shot just went up…

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P.S. The British government — citing a study showing that a single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine provides a high level of protection for 12 weeks — is delaying second shots so that more doses can be delivered to more people. Source

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical professional or scientist — just a curious, self-interested guy.  So, don’t take anything that I say or write as medical advice. Get that from your doctor!

One Response to “VAX: “F.D.A.’s guidelines for second doses is misguided.””

  1. VAX: Breaking thru the vaccination bottlenecks… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] F.D.A.’s guidelines for second doses is misguided. and CDC updates guidance re: 2nd shots… and Uh-oh: If you haven’t already scored your 1st vax […]

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