(WQOW) - With the COVID-19 vaccine in short supply, some research suggests delaying second doses to extend the amount available, but state health officials are not quite on board with that.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that even before the second dose, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have an efficacy of more than 92 percent.
Researchers wrote that with such a highly protective first dose, a scarce supply of vaccine could be maximized by deferring second doses until all priority group members were offered at least one dose.
They called the postponement of the second dose a matter of national security, and said that if ignored, could results in thousands of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.
State health officials aren't so sure.
"It's unclear about the net public health effects that might come out of this in terms of short-term versus long-term. And I think at this time, we do continue to stick with the evidence-based approach and those recommendations from ACIP that are currently in place, and that is to continue administering two doses of the currently available vaccines at the appropriate time," said Dr. Stephanie Schauer, Wisconsin DHS immunization program manager.
Researchers also said administration of a second dose within one month after the first, as recommended, provides little added benefit in the short term, while high-risk persons who could have received a first dose with that vaccine are left completely unprotected.