Operation Warp Speed considers halving COVID vaccine to accelerate inoculation campaign

The move attempts to speed up the rollout of the Moderna vaccine for Americans 18 to 55 years old

Published: January 4, 2021 7:41am

Updated: January 4, 2021 10:21am

Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's COVID-19 vaccination effort, wants to halve Moderna vaccine doses for some Americans to accelerate its week-old inoculation campaign.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Warp Speed's chief scientific adviser, said Sunday that the Food And Drug Administration will convene this week to consider issuing a guidance on cutting in half the doses for those 18 to 55.

The change would allow for cutting the current 100-microgram dose in half and issuing a second dose 28 days following the first. 

Slaoui says that data shows the binding and neutralizing antibody responses in individuals under the age of 55 were similar in individuals who received 100-micrograms of the vaccine vs. 50 micrograms. 

The Pfizer vaccine's dose contains 30 micrograms. Dr. Slaoui says he is "not sure" the same logic holds for the Pfizer vaccine.

The administration has ordered 200 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

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