The United States is behind its stated goals of vaccinating the population. This has inspired conversations about how and whether to stretch the vaccine supply to reach more people more quickly. In an opinion piece for STAT, MSK’s Dr. Peter B. Bach presents these questions as opportunities for further research.
Dr. Bach proposes that non-profit academic health centers administer the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to staff members, then give them the opportunity to opt into a randomized study. Participants would either receive the second dose as scheduled or a placebo. Researchers would follow the participants to see whether rates of infection differed starting one week after the second injection. Participants who received the placebo would get the second dose once the infection rates differed, allowing further data on the effectiveness of delaying the second dose.
Have questions about COVID vaccines? Dr. Elizabeth Robilotti offers answers on the MSK website.