NEW YORK – Some people who receive the COVID-19 Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should consider waiting up to eight weeks between the first and second dose instead of the three or four weeks recommended earlier, U.S. health officials said.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly changed on Tuesday his advice at a distance of frames.
CDC officials said they were responding to studies showing that a longer interval could provide stronger protection against the coronavirus. Studies show that 12- to 64-year-olds – especially men between the ages of 12 and 39 – can benefit from a longer interval, the CDC said.
They also say that waiting longer can help reduce the already rare side effect of vaccination: a form of heart inflammation that is seen in some young people.
The change will not affect many people, and it will happen 14 months after the start of the vaccination campaign in the United States. The CDC says 73% of people 12 years of age and older have already received two doses of the vaccine.
In addition, the offer to wait up to two months does not apply to everyone. The baseline, shorter interval is still recommended for people with weakened immune systems; people 65 years and older; and anyone who needs immediate protection because of the risk of serious illness.
Dr William Schaffner, a vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University, said the action made sense.
At the start of the pandemic, there was strong pressure to adopt as tight a vaccination schedule as possible. “The virus was spreading. People were dying. We wanted to get the vaccine in their hands as soon as possible, ”Schaffner said.
Based on research conducted by vaccine manufacturers, the government allowed the introduction of Pfizer as a series of two doses at intervals of three weeks, and Moderna injections – after four weeks.
Some people – mostly teenagers and young adult men – have experienced a side effect after the second injection that includes inflammation of the heart or around it. The CDC says that among men aged 18 to 39, the disease was reported in about 68 per 1 million who received a second dose of Moderna, and about 47 per 1 million who received a second dose of Pfizer.
Some studies show that postponing a second dose for up to eight weeks reduces that risk, CDC officials said.
If already vaccinated people are concerned that they have received less maximum protection by getting vaccinated according to the original schedule, they can allay those fears by getting vaccinated, Schaffner said.
“We really have very good data showing that two doses plus a booster provide very strong protection against serious diseases,” he said.
Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.
Copyright 2022 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.