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Studies to see if Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be halved may take two months

Studies to see if Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be halved may take two months

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at a pop-up vaccine clinic on Jan 5, 2021, in Salt Lake City, US. (Photo: AP/Rick Bowmer)

NEW YORK: Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna may take about two months to determine whether doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine can be halved to double the supply of the shots in the US, according to the agency.

The news comes as the country grapples with a surge in cases, with the number of vaccinations falling far short of early targets.

The US government has been considering the move to halve the doses for Moderna's vaccine, which requires two injections, to free up supply for more vaccinations.

READ: Facing slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout, scientists weigh new tactics

The New York Times first reported on the development, citing an interview with Dr John Mascola, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH.

Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine programme, said on Sunday CBS' Face the Nation that officials were in talks with Moderna and the US Food and Drug Administration about the idea.

The FDA said on Monday the idea of changing the authorised dosing or schedules of COVID-19 vaccines was premature and not supported by available data.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered more than 4.8 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed more than 17 million doses.

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Source: Reuters

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