The United States will not follow the UK's decision to delay the second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, said top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.
Fauci while speaking to CNN on Friday said, "I would not be in favor of that... We're going to keep doing what we're doing,"
According to CNN, the UK government announced on Wednesday that "the UK will prioritize giving the first dose of the vaccine to those in the most high-risk group" and allow the second dose to be given up to 12 weeks later.
The UK adopted the strategy to give as many people as possible the first dose as quickly as possible, saying it affords some amount of protection.
Asked about his previous remark on whether the US should change its approach and adopt the UK's plan where Fauci answered, "that's under consideration." He told CNN Friday that this comment had been "misinterpreted."
Fauci noted that in their clinical trials, Pfizer and Moderna - the makers of the two vaccines approved in the US - studied the effectiveness of two doses a few weeks apart, not a few months apart. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, "The fact is we want to stick with what the science tells us, and the data that we have for both (vaccines) indicate you give a prime, followed by a boost in 21 days with Pfizer and 28 days with Moderna. And right now, that's the way we're going with it, and that's the decision that is made."
He added, "We make decisions based on data. We don't have any data of giving a single dose and waiting for more than the normal period of time (to give the second dose)."
Fauci said that the scientists are studying whether a new variant of the novel coronavirus found in South Africa will pose a threat to existing vaccines.
"The proof of the pudding is we have to test it, and that is what is happening now, testing the strain found in South Africa against the antibodies produced by the vaccines. We don't have that answer, but I am sure that answer is forthcoming soon," Fauci said, as quoted by CNN.
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