A top epidemiologist who advised President Joe Biden’s transition team on the coronavirus pandemic is calling for the US to alter its vaccination plan in the face of a potential ‘hurricane’ surge in coronavirus infections in the coming weeks.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to outline the changes he said need to be made with the vaccine rollout.
He said the US should prioritize giving as many people as possible their first of two doses of the vaccine, instead of holding back a certain amount of shots for second doses.
Both vaccines currently in circulation – one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna – require two doses spaced out over a few weeks to achieve their full efficacy against the virus.
‘We still want to get two doses in everyone, but I think right now, in advance of this surge, we need to get as many one-doses in as many people over 65 as we possibly can, to reduce serious illness and death that is going to occur over the weeks ahead,’ Osterholm said.
He said he expects to see a new surge of infections ‘in the next six to 14 weeks’ due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants – including three first discovered in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
‘If we see that happen, which my 45 years in the trenches tell us we will, we are going to see something like we have not seen yet in this country,’ he said.
‘The hurricane is coming. Because of this surge, we have to call an audible.’
Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail