MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of Minnesota infectious disease expert says he supports the idea of delaying the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get more people vaccinated.
Dr. Michael Osterholm spoke before the Minnesota House Health Committee yesterday when he made comments on the vaccine process. Osterholm was also chosen to be part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: After Severe Weather Chance Sunday Night, Monday's High Will Be Coolest Since May
The debate whether or not to just give patients once vaccine dose to get them out more quickly has been tossed around by scientists. On Wednesday, Olsterholm voiced his support for this idea to get more people 65 and up vaccinated as the virus continues to claim thousands of lives everyday in the U.S.
Osterholm said it would involve getting more seniors vaccinated with their first dose and then possibly postponing the second dose until later this Spring or in the early summer. Osterholm said he believes the data will show that even one dose can offer “remarkable” protection.
Letita Laticia, a school psychologist, was at the Minneapolis Convention Center Thursday to get her first Moderna dose.
“It’s really hard to have an opinion about that because I want everyone to get a dose,” Letitia Olson said. “I think about for example my mother-in-law, who is 86, for her to have just one dose is different in my mind than for me to have just one dose because I think our most vulnerable populations really need protection of both doses.”READ MORE: George Floyd Square, Uptown Intersection Reopen To Traffic
Mary Losure of St. Paul is over 65 and also got her first dose Thursday.
“I feel like I’d be willing to do that,” she said. “I have some concerns that not everybody can get this vaccine.”
This debate is due to the vaccine shortage. Minnesota health officials have acknowledged there simply is not enough supply to vaccinate seniors or other groups as quickly as they’d like.
Minnesota state health leaders estimate with the current supply it could take 4 months to vaccinate all people in Minnesota who are 65 and older with the standard two doses.
Estimates suggest the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offer anywhere from 50% to 80% protection after one dose, and that goes up to 95% with the scheduled second doses.MORE NEWS: St. Paul's Sanneh Foundation Damaged In Overnight Fire
In the U.K., government officials have delayed some second shots to get more people their first dose.
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