US CDC eases vax dosage rules for ‘exceptional’ cases


WASHINGTON: The US CDC has quietly changed its recommendations for coronavirus immunisations to give doctors the flexibility to handle “exceptional circumstances,” a spokeswoman said, even though the changes have not been studied in large clinical trials.
In guidelines posted on its website on Thursday, the CDC said that patients may switch between the two authorised vaccines — one by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by Moderna — between the first and second doses in “exceptional situations”. The CDC also said patients may extend the interval between doses to six weeks from three or four if giving the second dose sooner was “not feasible.” Until now, the CDC had cautioned against any dosing changes, saying there was no evidence for it. A CDC spokeswoman said the agency’s “intention is not to suggest people do anything different but provide clinicians with flexibility for exceptional circumstances.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s special adviser, had repeatedly advised against delaying the second dose . But on Friday, he seemed open to delaying second doses. “What the CDC is saying, sometimes, the situation is stressed…,” Fauci told CNN. “So we’re saying, you can probably do it six weeks later, namely, two additional weeks. Quite frankly, immunologically, I don’t think that’s going to make a big difference.”
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