FDA to consider cutting Moderna vaccine doses in half so more people get shots

Vaccine rollout slower than expected

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The FDA is meeting this week to consider giving half-doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to people ages 18 to 55.

The head of Operation Warp Speed says clinical data shows the vaccine can be just as effective at half-doses in that age group.

U.S. Vaccine Chief Moncef Slaoui says the move could make the coronavirus vaccine available to twice as many people under age 55.

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The effort to roll out the vaccine has been slower than expected.

The Trump administration had the original goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. So far, four million Americans have received their first of the two COVID-19 shots required.

Slaoui says he’s not sure yet if the same half-dose strategy would work with the other approved vaccine from Pfizer.