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US may halve doses of Moderna vaccine to speed rollout: Moncef Slaoui

Moncef Slaoui, Head of Operation Warp Speed, said that officials were in talks with Moderna and the Food and Drug Administration about the idea

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The US government is considering giving some people half the dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in order to speed vaccinations, a federal official said.

Moncef Slaoui, Head of Operation Warp Speed, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that officials were in talks with Moderna and the Food and Drug Administration about the idea. Moderna’s vaccine requires two injections.

“We know that for the Moderna vaccine, giving half of the dose to people between the ages of 18 and 55, two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunising double the number of people with the doses we have,” Slaoui said.

“We know it induces identical immune response” to the full dose, he added.

Moderna and the FDA could not immediately be reached for comment.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered 4,225,756 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 13,071,925 doses.

The US has also approved a vaccine from Pfizer, which like Moderna’s requires two shots. Vaccinations have fallen far short of early targets, as officials had hoped to have 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020.

(Edits by EP News Bureau)

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