WHO panel approves delaying time between coronavirus vaccine doses

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Experts at the World Health Organization on Friday approved delaying the times between doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine.

The organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization published guidance stating that the interval between doses “may be extended up to 42 days (6 weeks), on the basis of currently available clinical trial data,” The Associated Press reported.

The organization said it will consider revising the recommendation as more data becomes available about longer intervals between doses.

The recommendation comes as a number of countries have considered delaying the second dose as they face supply constraints with the vaccine.

Pfizer’s vaccine is given in two doses 21 days apart, while Moderna’s two doses are separated by 28 days.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on Monday advising against altering coronavirus doses or intervals.

“At this time, suggesting changes to the FDA-authorized dosing or schedules of these vaccines is premature and not rooted solidly in the available evidence,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

“Without appropriate data supporting such changes in vaccine administration, we run a significant risk of placing public health at risk, undermining the historic vaccination efforts to protect the population from COVID-19.”

Tags BioNTech Coronavirus COVID-19 FDA Moderna Pfizer Stephen Hahn World Health Organization
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